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Aug 20, 2009

Brazil recall striker Adriano to face Argentina, Chile

Striker Adriano was recalled by Brazil on Thursday for their World Cup qualifiers away to Argentina and at home to Chile next month.

Coach Dunga included Flamengo's former Inter Milan forward, last picked in March, for the games against Argentina in Rosario on Sept. 5 and at home to Chile in Salvador four days later.

Having recovered from off-field problems that almost caused him to quit football, Adriano is among the top scorers in the Brazilian championship with 10 goals in 16 games.

He was released by Inter in April and returned home, rejoining his first club Flamengo within weeks.

"He has recovered the joy of playing football," Dunga told reporters. "In the national team, Adriano always showed his potential and commitment.

"What happened was that in his club (Inter), for various reasons, he didn't manage to have the same happiness and the same performance."

Adriano has been particularly successful against Argentina.

He headed the injury time equaliser in a 2-2 draw in the 2004 Copa America final which Brazil won on penalties and scored twice in the 2005 Confederations Cup final in Germany in Brazil's 4-1 victory over their arch-rivals.

Dunga dropped Atletico Mineiro's Diego Tardelli, who made his debut in this month's 1-0 friendly win in Estonia, to make room for Adriano.

Adriano did not play in Brazil's qualifiers on March 29 and April 1 and was overlooked for the two in June, his last appearance dating back to Brazil's 2-0 win over Italy in a friendly in London in February.

There was also a recall for Liverpool midfielder Lucas in place of Flamengo's Kleberson, who injured his shoulder against Estonia, but otherwise Dunga has kept the core of the squad that retained the Confederations Cup in South Africa in June.

Brazil lead the South American group on 27 points with four matches to go. Chile are second a point behind with Paraguay third on 24 and Argentina fourth with 22.

The top four in the 10-nation group go through to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa while the fifth-placed team qualifies for a playoff against a CONCACAF opponent.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Victor (Gremio)

Defenders: Andre Santos (Fenerbahce), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (Inter Milan), Filipe (Deportivo La Coruna), Lucio (Inter Milan), Luisao (Benfica), Miranda (Sao Paulo), Juan (AS Roma)

Midfielders: Elano (Galatasaray), Felipe Melo (Juventus), Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos), Josue (VfL Wolfsburg), Ramires (Benfica), Julio Baptista (AS Roma), Kaka (Real Madrid), Lucas (Liverpool)

Forwards: Luis Fabiano (Sevilla), Nilmar (Villarreal), Robinho (Manchester City), Adriano (Flamengo)

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