World Cup Countdown: Ronaldinho left out by Brazil

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The Independent Football

Five-time winners Brazil have omitted Ronaldinho (below) from their 23-man squad for the World Cup. The 30-year-old Milan midfielder, two-times Fifa's World Player of the Year, has impressed for the Serie A side this season but was left out by manager Dunga. Wolfsburg striker Grafite was preferred ahead of Adriano and Alexandre Pato, while Spurs goalkeeper Heruelho Gomes is included.

Francesco Totti has been left out of Italy's provisional squad, with manager Marcelloi Lippi opting against bringing the forward out of international retirement. Juventus defender Nicola Legrottaglie was a surprise omission, with Lippi opting instead for a number of inexperienced centre-backs. "I admit that from a personal standpoint I am gutted," Legrottaglie said.

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has made the Ghana squad, despite failing to feature since December after picking up a knee injury. Sunderland defender John Mensah also makes the cut, along with the Portsmouth midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng.

France have left Patrick Vieira and Samir Nasri out of their 30-man provisional squad, while Raymond Domenech has selected five uncapped players. Real Madrid's Karim Benzema has also been omitted. Speaking about Vieira, Domenech said: "It's a difficult moment. We tried, he did too."

Cameroon have included nine uncapped players in their 30-man squad, including the Tottenham duo Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Sebastien Bassong. Burnley's Andre Bikey has been left out, while the experienced Rigobert Song and Geremi, with nearly 250 caps between them, make the party.

Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk has left former Manchester United forward Ruud van Nistelrooy out of his squad. "After his lengthy knee injury he does not have time to get back to his old level," Van Marwijk said of the 33-year-old Hamburg forward.

Ivory Coast manager Sven Goran Eriksson has included eight British-based players in his provisional 30-man squad. Chelsea duo Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou, Arsenal's Emmanuel Eboué, Manchester City's Kolo Touré and on-loan Portsmouth midfielder Aruna Dindane were all selected.

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