Kaka returns to Brazil national team
(CNN)He hasn’t played a game for Brazil in almost a year, but Orlando City star Kaka has been handed an international lifeline after he was included in the five-time World Cup winner’s squad for the upcoming friendlies against Costa Rica and the United States.
Brazil’s national team coach, Dunga called up the former Real Madrid and AC Milan player for the first time since October 2014, when he made two substitute appearances against Argentina and Japan.
Kaka inclusion in the squad means that he set to miss Orlando City’s MLS match against New England Revolution on September 5 — Brazil’s game against Costa Rica in New York takes place on the same day.
Dunga’s side will then take on the U.S. at Foxborough Stadium on September 8.
It is a positive step for Kaka who has played 89 times for Brazil and appeared at three World Cup finals.
In March, the midfielder told CNN that he still harbored hopes of making the Brazil squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“I have a three-year contract with Orlando, and at least these three. In four years, we have another World Cup,” said Kaka, who will be 36 by the time 2018 comes around.
“If I feel good and Brazil needs me, (it) will be a good way to stop playing. So I hope I can play another World Cup.”
Liverpool’s new $ 45 million signing Roberto Firmino has also been included, while there is an opportunity for Chelsea star Oscar to put the disappointment of missing out on the Copa America through injury behind him.
Dunga has been experimenting with a mixture of youth and wise old heads in recent squads and Kaka’s inclusion continues that trend.
“As for Kaka, we have brought him in for his experience,” said the coach at his press conference. “Just as we have done with Robinho in the past.”
However, Philippe Coutinho, whose wonder goal gave Liverpool an opening-day Premier League win against Stoke, is one of the youngsters to surprisingly miss out.
“Coutinho had a chance at Copa America. We need experience, not just youngsters,” said the 51-year-old. “We have to find a balance between youth and experience.”
In June, Brazil’s hopes of restoring national pride after its disastrous 2014 World Cup exit were cruelly dashed after losing a penalty shootout to Paraguay at the Copa America quarterfinal stage.
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