Published: Mar 14, 2:20p ET
Updated: Mar 14, 2:20p ET

Ronaldinho makes preliminary list for Olympics

SAO PAULO (AP) - Two-time FIFA player of the year Ronaldinho was included Wednesday on the preliminary list of players who could make Brazil's squad for the London Olympics.

Other players older than 23 who made the 51-player list announced by coach Mano Menezes include Inter Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar, AC Milan defender Thiago Silva, Barcelona right back Daniel Alves, Chelsea defender David Luiz and FC Porto striker Hulk.

Under-23 players Neymar, Paulo Henrique Ganso, Lucas, Philippe Coutinho, Leandro Damiao and Alexandre Pato were also picked by Menezes, while Kaka and Robinho were left out.

The Olympic tournament is the only significant football competition Brazil is yet to win. The five-time World Cup champions won the Olympic silver in 1984 and 1988, and the bronze in 1996 and 2008.

A list with 35 players will be released on June 8, and the final 18-player squad will be announced on July 6.

Ronaldinho played in the 2008 Beijing Games, when Brazil won the bronze after losing in the semifinals to Lionel Messi's Argentina.

The 31-year-old Ronaldinho has been saying all along that he wants to play again in London, and Menezes has been picking him in the national team playing poorly with Flamengo.

The coach said Ronaldinho is part of a project and that he will continue calling up the player even though he is not at his best with Brazil's most popular club. Ronaldinho scored in Flamengo's 2-0 victory over Fluminense in the Rio de Janeiro state championship on Sunday, but was sent off just before halftime after receiving a second yellow card for a hard foul.

The Olympic tournament is played with under-23 players but each team can use three footballers over that age. Menezes' list had 16 players over 23.

Menezes has already hinted that Thiago Silva, who played at the 2008 Games in Beijing, will likely be one of his choices because he feels defense is a position that Brazil will benefit by having a more experienced player.

Most of the players who helped Brazil win the Under-20 World Cup in Colombia last year made Menezes' list, including Oscar, who scored Brazil's three goals in the 3-2 victory over Portugal in the final.

Menezes said Brazil will have a "quality group" that will be "capable of fighting from the start to try and win the Olympics."

Brazil will face Denmark in a friendly in Germany in May, but Menezes is unlikely to select a squad solely with Olympic-age players. He is set to use more of them when Brazil tours the United States to play the U.S. on May 30, Mexico on June 3 and Argentina on June 9.

Only 25 of the 52 players announced Wednesday play in Brazil.

The Olympic football tournament will run from July 27 to Aug. 12.

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