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Ronaldo handed Brazil challenge

The quality of the Brazilian team remains a conundrum so close to the kick-off of the World Cup.

The Brazilian coach is leaving out the tried and tested and widely admired veteran striker Romario although whether Ronaldo, the perpetually injured long-lost superstar, can really cover for Romario is unknown.

Ronaldo has been talking about knocking out France and “exploding” into the World Cup, so it sounds as though he is confident. We also do not know the genuine state of Rivaldo&#39s dodgy knee.

Rivaldo is essential to Brazil&#39s success. His physiotherapist has insisted the knee has recovered but only days later, Rivaldo conceded that he was still feeling pain.

Croatia are the latest country to suffer a serious injury setback, with Igor Tudor being ruled out with an ankle injury. Coach Mirko Jozic says Croatia will be 20 per cent weaker without him.

As we now have an idea of the key personnel who will be taking part in Japan and South Korea, we also know who will be missing.

To join Romario, you could assemble a hugely impressive “non-selected” team containing, for starters, Steve McManaman, Nicolas Anelka, Stefano Fiore and Roberto Baggio.


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