Mano Menezes believes Ronaldinho's comeback performance in Brazil's 1-0 victory over Ghana last night shows that he can still cut it on the world stage.
Many had thought Ronaldinho's appearance against Argentina last November would be his last in a Brazil shirt, but he has undergone something of a late renaissance at Flamengo since signing for the Brazilian club in January.
The two-time FIFA World Player of the Year has scored 15 times in the club's Campeonato Brasileiro title challenge and his comeback was complete last night when he helped the South American side beat Ghana 1-0 at Craven Cottage in London.
The former Barcelona man had a slow start but picked up his performance in the second period and was unlucky not to get himself on the scoresheet after going close with two brilliant efforts near the end of the game.
The 31-year-old also showed he still has the skills which made him one of the most notorious stars in world football by flicking a deft nutmeg with the outside of his boot to play in Leandro Damiao in the first half.
Menezes had been accused of using Ronaldinho's recall as a cynical ploy to win over ailing support in Brazil, but he denies this was the case and was happy to see the Flamengo star play well.
"He (Ronaldinho) played very well and is a player we needed to bring back to the team," Menezes said.
"International football is much faster nowadays and he found it a bit difficult at the beginning. But then he got into the rhythm and showed what he is all about in the second half.
"He played really well and the goalkeeper made a wonderful save from him. We need to bring him back to the international team."
Neymar outshone his older compatriot with a stellar display that showed why he has been coveted all summer by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea.
The Santos striker deserved a goal for his display and his perseverance in the face of overly-physical Ghana defending which saw their team reduced to 10 men with the sending off of Daniel Opare.
Tottenham target Damiao was the matchwinner though, slotting home his strike coolly after being played in just before half-time.
The victory is a boost for Menezes as he tries to move on from this summer's Copa America quarter-final exit, but the Brazil boss concedes it could have been a different story had Opare not been sent off.
He said: "What makes it difficult to judge is the fact that it wasn't 11 against 11. If it was 11 v 11, it would have been so much more close."
Stefan Stevanovic, who replaced Milovan Rajevac as Ghana coach in January, refused to talk about his team's poor discipline, but was happy to have tested Brazil.
"We showed once again that we are going in the right direction as a team," he said.
"Against Brazil, playing 65 minutes with 10 players is very difficult. It was a very good performance and I am very proud of my team."Reuse content