Big names miss out

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Some big name football stars were shockingly left out of the provisional World Cup squads that were announced by national coaches on Tuesday.

These stars include Brazil hopeful Ronaldinho, Italy’s Francesco Totti, Netherland’s Ruud van Nistelrooy, Argentina’s duo of Inter Milan midfielder Esteban Cambiasso and 136-cap record holder Javier Zanetti.

Totti was left out of Italy’s provisional squad after coach Marcello Lippi decided against bringing the World Cup winner out of international retirement.

AS Roma captain Totti, who quit the national side after their 2006 World Cup triumph, had considered making himself available for the June 11-July 11 tournament in South Africa but the inconsistent Azzurri will have to do without his creativity.

Another big name, two-time World Player of the Year Ronaldinho has been left out of Brazil’s World Cup squad.

Rather than go for an initial squad of 30, coach Dunga has announced a squad of 23, with seven stand-bys to be added.

That means the best Ronaldinho or fellow absentee Adriano could hope for is to be an injury replacement.

Ronaldinho last played for Brazil in April 2009 but a decent season with AC Milan had raised hopes of a recall.

Diego Maradona disregarded the vast experience of Inter Milan midfielder Cambiasso and record holder Zanetti when he named his 30-man provisional World Cup squad.

Zanetti, a veteran of the 1998 and 2002 World cups, and Cambiasso, who helped Argentina reach the 2002 quarter-finals, are both key players in the Inter side that reached the Champions League final at the expense of holders Barcelona.

Ruud van Nistelrooy’s international career appears to be over after he was not selected in the Netherlands’ 30-man preliminary World Cup squad.

The striker (33) hoped he had done enough to prove his fitness during a loan spell with Hamburg this season.

But coach Bert Van Marwijk has admitted he has doubts over the former Manchester United man’s injuries.

French coach Raymond Domenech left out Arsenal’s Samir Nasri, immediate past skipper and Manchester City’s Patrick Vieira and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema. Barcelona’s Thierry Henry and Arsenal’s William Gallas were included.

Meanwhile, new Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson says his team cannot rely solely on the goals of star striker Didier Drogba.

He said the African nation cannot expect too much from Drogba, the English Premier League’s top scorer.

Drogba, Chelsea team-mate Salomon Kalou, Barcelona’s Yaya Toure, Aruna Dindane of Lens and defenders Emmanuel Eboue and Kolo Toure are all included. -Reuters