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Ronaldinho, Neymar handed Brazil caps

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, September 23 – Brazil coach Mano Menezes has handed Ronaldinho and highly-rated Neymar a triple chance to stamp their claims as the 2014 World Cup hosts prepare to face bitter rivals Argentina as well as Mexico and Costa Rica.

Brazil will tackle Argentina in Belem on September 28 after their first meeting in the continent’s Superclasico ended 0-0 last week.

Menezes has called-up players who ply their trade in South America for that game while for the friendlies with Costa Rica, on October 7, and Mexico, four days later, he was able to summon the cream of his European-based talent.

For the clash with Argentina, Porto Algre’s Leandro Damiao has been forced to pull out through a thigh injury.

Menezes will be without Robinho, Pato and Paulo Henrique Ganso for the matches with Costa Rica and Mexico while Porto striker Kleber gets a first-time call-up.

Neymar of Santos and Ronaldinho, now playing at Flamengo, have been selected for all three meetings.

Brazil squads for three friendly internationals — against Argentina (Sept 28), Costa Rica (Oct 7) and Mexico (Oct 11):

v Argentina:

Goalkeepers: Jefferson (Botafogo), Rafael (Santos).

Defenders: Danilo (Santos), Mario Fernandes (Gremio), Bruno Cortes (Botafogo), Kleber (Internacional), Dede (Vasco), Rever (Atletico-MG), Emerson (Coritiba).

Midfielders: Ralf (Corinthians), Paulinho (Corinthians), Casemiro (Sao Paulo), Romulo (Vasco), Lucas (Sao Paulo), Oscar (Internacional), Diego Souza (Vasco), Elkeson (Botafogo).

Attackers: Ronaldinho (Flamengo), Neymar (Santos), Fred (Fluminense), Borges (Santos).

v Costa Rica and Mexico:

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan/ITA), Jefferson (Botafogo), Neto (Fiorentina/ITA).

Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona/ESP), Fabio (Manchester United/ENG), Marcelo (Real Madrid/ESP), Adriano (Barcelona/ESP), Rever (Atl├ętico-MG), Thiago Silva (AC Milan/ITA), David Luiz (Chelsea/ENG), Dede (Vasco).

Midfielder: Lucas Leiva (Liverpool/ENG), Fernandinho (Shakhtar Donetsk/UKR), Sandro (Tottenham/ENG), Luiz Gustavo (Bayern Munich/GER), Lucas (Sao Paulo), Elias (Sporting Lisbon/POR), Oscar (Internacional), Hernanes (Lazio/ITA).

Attackers: Ronaldinho (Flamengo), Hulk (Porto/POR), Jonas (Valencia/ESP), Neymar (Santos), Kleber (Porto), Fred (Fluminense).

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