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May 9, 2014

Kaka not sad about Brazil omission

Kaka says he is not surprised to have been left out of the 23-man Brazil squad for this summer's World Cup.

• 2014 World Cup squads
• 2014 World Cup venue guides
• Vickery: Brazil spring no surprises

The AC Milan midfielder, 32, took Luis Felipe Scolari's decision to omit him philosophically, claiming that the coach had been "coherent", adding that it "would have been a surprise if he had actually called me up."

Speaking at an awards ceremony in Milan, Kaka said: "I'm sorry that I won't be playing at the World Cup, but I'm not sad about it." Instead, the veteran will focus on trying to clinch a European spot with the Rossoneri, an achievement that would further cement his status as a fans' favourite.

"Maybe people love me here more than in Sao Paulo," he said. "I've still got a year left on my contract and I'm delighted to be here. I was welcomed warmly and, right now, I'm playing to reach an objective which is the Europa League. We need to qualify for Europe. It's an objective we will do all we can to realise."

Kaka has been moved back into a deeper midfield role in recent weeks by Milan coach Clarence Seedorf, but since this has coincided with a good run of results, the Brazilian has no real complaints. "It seems like things are going well now," he said. "I've found the right position. Of course I prefer a more attacking role, but [Seedorf has] won six of the last seven games so the results speak for him. It's now up to us to give it one final push to get these six points."

Meanwhile, former Brazil international Juninho has told RMC he would have picked both Kaka and Lucas Moura after the pair were left out of the Selecao's World Cup squad.

Kaka, a World Cup winner in 2002, and Paris Saint-Germain's Lucas were both notable omissions when Scolari named his provisional squad for the tournament on Thursday.

A veteran of the 2006 World Cup in which he played alongside Kaka, Juninho said he hoped the Milan star's ability to handle big occasions would not be missed by Scolari's youthful selection.

He said: "With regard to Kaka, Scolari took him to play in a friendly, but he didn't play well. So, he preferred to take Willian, Bernard, the youngsters who did well at the Confederations Cup. He has kept the basis of that squad, and changed a few names. The problem is that Kaka has already played three World Cups. He has experience, and I hope this squad won't be lacking in it."

Lucas has yet to feature in a World Cup, but after ending the Ligue 1 season strongly with PSG, the former Sao Paulo attacking midfielder had hoped to sneak into Scolari's thinking despite being left out of recent squads.

"I had said Lucas wouldn't be picked," Juninho stated. "His goose was cooked by the coach a long time ago, because he has not had the opportunity to play. I think Scolari doesn't like the player, he doesn't like his style."

The former Lyon midfielder added he felt Scolari's squad was lightweight in attack, an area the two players left out could have strengthened, leaving the onus to inspire the side to Neymar.

Juninho warned the Barcelona youngster, who was named the Confederations Cup's best player as Brazil triumphed over Spain last summer, that he must focus more on his game than on his image if he is to fulfil his potential.

"Neymar's advantage is that he has been brought up well, his parents are always by his side. His problem is that he likes the glamourous side of football and sometimes forgets the fundamentals. He has a lot of talent and knows he can play well in every game, but he likes the press and the media.

"He's young, he's 22, and he has to be careful. He's injured now, so he has to recover, but today, technically, he's the most important player Brazil have. At one time, we had Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Kaka, Romario, Bebeto and now, we have had a dip with a little crisis. Neymar is 'the' hope. But Brazil's base, with their defence, has taken some of the pressure off him."

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