Ronaldinho was left out of Brazil’s initial World Cup squad, Francesco Totti and Luca Toni were missing from Italy’s squad, Argentina coach Diego Maradona left out Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti, 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!”
While Tuesday’s announcement of the players invited to training camp was tough for him, it was a day of unexpected highs for Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez, a pair of veteran forwards selected for the team. At the start of the year, they were such afterthoughts they weren’t even listed in the 2010 U.S. media guide.
The same for Alejandro Bedoya, a 23-year-old midfielder who didn’t make his international debut until January.
“It’s kind of like a dream,” Gomez said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I’ll leave Saturday. I really don’t know what to expect.”
Still, they haven’t quite made the World Cup just yet. U.S. coach Bob Bradley must cut seven players to reach the 23-man limit by June 1, the day the team arrives in South Africa.
Davies was badly hurt in an Oct. 13 accident in Virginia, when he broke curfew ahead of the final U.S. World Cup qualifier. Originally forecast to be out a year, he has made it back to training with his French club Sochaux but has yet to play in any games.
While teammates and fans were pulling for the popular 23-year-old, U.S. coach Bob Bradley said Sochaux would not give Davies medical clearance to report to the national team.
“Given that status and our own evaluation of his progress, we feel it is in Charlie’s best interest to continue his rehabilitation and focus on getting fully prepared to resume his professional and international career,” Bradley said.
Davies, a passenger in the car, sustained a broken and dislocated left elbow, along with a broken right femur, tibia and fibula, in the crash. He also broke his nose, forehead and eye socket and was left with a ruptured bladder and bleeding on the brain.
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.”
There was no room for veteran defender Zanetti in coach Maradona’s provisional squad for the tournament, however. Zanetti, captain of Champions League finalist Inter Milan, and club teammate Cambiasso both missed the cut. Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago also was left out.
Only nine players have been in previous World Cups: Walter Samuel, Gabriel Heinze, Nicolas Burdisso, Fabricio Coloccini, Javier Mascherano, Maxi Rodriguez, Messi, Carlos Tevez and Juan Sebastian Veron.
Maradona seems to be betting increasingly on players on clubs in Argentina and a bit less on Europe-based players, who have made up the bulk of recent World Cup squads.
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 or 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.”
Full World Cup rosters:
• Forwards: Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea, England), Hatem Ben Arfa (Marseille), Jimmy Briand (Rennes), Djibril Cisse (Panathinaikos, Greece), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Toulouse), Sidney Govou (Lyon), Thierry Henry (Barcelona, Spain), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich, Germany), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)Mexico
• Forwards: Adolfo Bautista (Chivas), Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Veracruz), Giovani Dos Santos (Galatasaray, Turkey), Guillermo Franco (West Ham, England), Javier Hernandez (Chivas), Alberto Medina (Chivas), Carlos Vela (Arsenal, England)South Africa
• Forwards: Sebastian Abreu (Botafogo, Brazil), Edinson Cavani (Palermo, Italy), Sebastian Fernandez (Banfield, Argentina), Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Jorge Martinez (Catania, Italy), Luis Suarez (Ajax, Netherlands)
• Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid, Spain), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli, Italy), Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Spain), Diego Milito (Inter Milan, Italy), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City, England)Greece
• Strikers: Georgios Samaras (Glasgow Celtic, Scotland), Angelos Charisteas (Nuremberg, Germany), Pantelis Kapetanos (Steaua Bucharest, Romania), Fanis Gekas (Hertha Berlin, Germany), Dimitris Salpingidis (Panathinaikos), Costas Mitroglou (Olympiakos)Nigeria
• Forwards: Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Everton, England), Victor Anichebe (Everton, England), Ideye Brown (Sochaux, France), Nwankwo Kanu (Portsmouth, England), Obafemi Martins (Wolfsburg, Germany), Chinedu Obasi (Hoffenheim, Germany), Victor Obinna (Malaga, Spain), Ikechukwu Uche (Zaragoza, Spain), John Utaka (Portsmouth, England), Peter Utaka (Odense, Denmark)South Korea
• Forwards: Ahn Jung-hwan (Dalian Shide, China), Lee Dong-guk (Jeonbuk), Lee Keun-ho (Jubilo Iwata, Japan), Lee Seung-ryul (Seoul), Park Ju-young (Monaco, France), Yeom Ki-hun (Suwon)
• Forwards: Rafik Djebbour (AEK Athens, Greece), Abdelkader Ghezzal (Siena, Italy), Rafik Saifi (Istres, France)England
• Forwards: Darren Bent (Sunderland), Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)Slovenia
• Forwards: Miran Burgic (AIK, Sweden), Zlatko Dedic (Bochum, Germany), Zlatan Ljubijankic (Ghent, Belgium), Tim Matavz (Groningen, Netherlands), Milivoje Novakovic (Cologne, Germany), Nejc Pecnik (Nacional Funchal)United States
• Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Hull, England), Edson Buddle (Los Angeles), Brian Ching (Houston), Robbie Findley (Salt Lake), Herculez Gomez (Puebla, Mexico), Eddie Johnson (Aris, Greece)
• Forwards: Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus, Japan), Harry Kewell (Galatasaray, Turkey), Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough, England), Nikita Rukavytsya (Twente, Netherlands), Dario Vidosic (Nuremberg, Germany)Germany
• Forwards: Cacau (Stuttgart), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Stefan Kiessling (Bayer Leverkusen), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Cologne)Ghana
• Forwards: Dominic Adiyiah (AC Milan, Italy), Matthew Amoah (NAC Breda, Netherlands) Asamoah Gyan (Rennes, France), Prince Tagoe (Hoffenheim, Germany)Serbia
• Forwards: Danko Lazovic (Zenit St. Petersburg, Russia), Dejan Lekic (Red Star Belgrade), Dragan Mrdja (Vojvodina), Marko Pantelic (Ajax, Netherlands), Nikola Zigich (Valencia, Spain)
• Forwards: Vincent Aboubakar (Coton Sport), Eric Choupo-Moting (Nuremberg, Germany), Achille Emana (Betis, Spain), Samuel Eto'o (Inter Milan, Italy), Mohamadou Idrissou (Freiburg, Germany), Rostand Dorge Kouemaha (Club Brugge, Belgium), Achille Webo (Mallorca, Spain), Jacques Zoua (Basel, Switzerland)Denmark
• Forwards: Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal, England), Jon Dahl Tomasson (Feyenoord, Netherlands), Soren Larsen (Duisburg, Germany)• On standby: Anders Moller Christensen (Odense), Leon Jessen (Midtjylland), Morten Rasmussen (Glasgow Celtic, Scotland), Mikkel Thygesen (Midtjylland)Japan
• Forwards: Takayuki Morimoto (Catania, Italy), Shinji Okazaki (Shimizu S-Pulse), Yoshito Okubo (Vissel Kobe), Keiji Tamada (Nagoya Grampus), Kishi Yano (Albirex Niigata)Netherlands
• Forwards: Ryan Babel (Liverpool, England), Eljero Elia (Hamburg, Germany), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan, Italy), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool, England), Jeremain Lens (AZ Alkmaar), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich, Germany), Robin van Persie (Arsenal, England)
• Forwards: Marco Borriello (AC Milan), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal, Spain)Paraguay
• Forwards: Jorge Achucarro (Newell's Old Boys, Argentina), Lucas Barrios (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Edgar Benitez (Pachuca, Mexico), Oscar Cardozo (Benfica, Lisbon), Rodolfo Gamarra (Libertad), Osvaldo Martinez (Monterrey, Mexico), Roque Santa Cruz (Manchester City, England), Nelson Haedo Valdez (Borussia Dortmund, Germany)New Zealand
• Forwards: Rory Fallon (Plymouth, England). Chris Killen (Middlesbrough, England), Shane Smeltz (Gold Coast United), Chris Wood (West Bromwich Albion, England)Slovakia
• Forwards: Martin Jakubko (FC Moscow, Russia), Erik Jendrisek (Schalke, Germany), Filip Holosko (Besiktas, Turkey), Robert Vittek (Ankaragucu, Turkey)
• Forwards: Grafite (Wolfsburg, Germany), Luis Fabiano (Sevilla, Spain), Nilmar (Villarreal, Spain), Robinho (Santos)Ivory Coast
• Forwards: Aruna Dindane (Portsmouth, England), Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Didier Drogba (Chelsea, England), Salomon Kalou (Chelsea, England), Abdul Keita (Galatasaray, Turkey), Bakari Kone (Marseille, France), Gervinho (Lille, France), Jean-Jacques Gosso Gosso (Monaco, France), Lacina Traore (Cluj, Romania)North Korea
• Not availablePortugal
• Forwards: Hugo Almeida (Werder Bremen, Germany), Liedson (Sporting Lisbon), Nani (Manchester United, England), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, Spain), Simao Sabrosa (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Danny (Zenit St. Petersburg, Russia)
• Not availableHonduras
• Forwards: Walter Martinez (Marathon), Carlos Pavon (Real Espana), David Suazo (Genoa, Italy), Georgie Welcome (Motagua)Spain
• Forwards: Santiago Cazorla (Villarreal), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Juan Manuel Mata (Valencia), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Daniel Guiza (Fenerbache, Turkey), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Fernando Torres (Liverpool, England), David Villa (Valencia)Switzerland