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Ronaldinho among stars ignored for World Cup

Ronaldinho was left out of Brazil's initial World Cup squad, Francesco Totti and Luca Toni were missing from Italy's squad, and Jamie Carragher came out of retirement for England as coaches announced their provisional rosters Tuesday.

The coaches of the 32 teams headed for next month's championship in South Africa faced a FIFA deadline, and the lists include some walking wounded who hope to be fit for the tournament, some unexpected inclusions, and some big names who missed out.

One of those is American forward Charlie Davies, who was sidelined after an Oct. 13 auto accident, then made a furious effort at a comeback.

"Thank you all for your continued support and words of encouragement," he wrote on Twitter. "It was a very sad day for me, as well, but now focused for next season!"

Two other U.S. products made rosters of foreign teams.

New Jersey's Giuseppe Rossi was selected for defending champion Italy. Rossi, a 23-year forward for Villarreal in Spain, was born in Teaneck and went to Clifton High School. He was eligible to play for both Italy and the United States and opted to play for the Azzurri instead of the Americans.

"Check out Italy's 30 pre selected players to go to SA. They just got out!! Let me know what u think," Rossi wrote on Twitter, where his page says: "Been around the world ... hometown is always NJ."

Neven Subotic, a defender who grew up in Salt Lake City and played for U.S. youth national teams, was picked for Serbia's preliminary roster. The 21-year-old plays for Borussia Dortmund in Germany.

Ronaldinho, Adriano and Neymar were omitted from Brazil coach Dunga's initial 23-man list. They could be among the seven more players to be announced later by Dunga, but would only be on standby in case of injuries. The coach stuck with most of the players who helped Brazil win last year's Confederations Cup and finish atop South American qualifying.

"These players are winners," Dunga said. "There is no doubt that they are prepared to help Brazil reach its goal. They are ready to give their best for the country.

"Ronaldinho's quality and capacity as a player is indisputable. I have to make a decision based on what happens on the field."

Karim Benzema was a surprise omission from France's provisional squad. Coach Raymond Domenech said it was because of his form on the field rather than allegations of involvement in an under-age sex scandal with an escort.

"To me this is not a concern," said Domenech, who also left out veteran midfielder Patrick Vieira but selected off-form striker Thierry Henry. "I'm only thinking about football and about what the players want to give on the pitch."

Ruud van Nistelrooy, 34, was not on the Netherlands squad despite having recovered from a knee injury.

There was speculation Totti might also come out of international retirement to help Italy defend the World Cup. When Marcello Lippi's squad was announced, there was no sign of his name, nor that of Toni, despite seven strikers being picked.

Because the final 23 must come from these provisional lists, that means no chance for Totti of Toni to be in South Africa unless there is a serious injury to one of the other squad members.

Spain's Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres are also carrying injuries but were picked with the deadline for the final squad being three weeks away.

Eighteen members of the Spain squad that impressively took the 2008 European Championship are on this one, too.

Carragher quit England's national team three years ago, complaining he could never get a start under coach Steve McClaren. But the 32-year-old Liverpool defender was on the 30-man squad announced by Fabio Capello.

Capello included Gareth Barry even though the Manchester City midfielder is sidelined for three weeks with ankle ligament damage. He will miss England's friendlies against Mexico and Japan and the squad's two pre-World Cup training camps in Austria.

With defenders Ledley King and Rio Ferdinand dealing with persistent injury problems, Capello decided to bring back Carragher.

Switzerland selected its final squad of 23 three weeks early and has included 18-year-old Xherdan Shaqiria, who has only 45 minutes international experience. The FC Basel midfielder made his club debut in July and had his first taste of international soccer against Uruguay in a friendly on March 3.

Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has a largely European-based squad that features Didier Drogba, whose 29 goals helped Chelsea win the Premier League.

But the former England and Mexico coach said Tuesday he didn't want his team to rely too heavily on Drogba's goals.

"It's not enough to hope Drogba will go out and score some goals," Eriksson said. "If we don't play as a team, we cannot be impressive. Quality isn't enough in football, you need to work together."

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