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Tostao calls for Ronaldo, Cafu's retirement

Written by: Staff
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Berlin, July 5 (UNI) Irate after the pre-tournament favourite's rather unceremonious exit from the World Cup, legendary Brazilian forward Tostao has called for retirement of star striker Ronaldo and captain Cafu and rebuilding a team around Ronaldinho and Kaka.

Calling for a big change in the squad, Tostao said injury-proned Ronaldo has slowed down and should not be selected again.

''Even though he is only 29, I don't think that Ronaldo should be selected again, because his chances of playing in the next World Cup are very slim. The many injuries he has suffered have given him the demeanour of a player much older than he really is.'' ''He hasn't got the pace that he once had, and his mobility is restricted to a small part of the pitch. So, what we need is a big change,'' the 1970 world cup winner told FIFA official website.

''Sometimes, you have to lose a World Cup to realise that certain players who were outstanding in a previous era now have to be moved on. I understand Parreira's position as regards Cafu, Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo. Everybody, thought these players could do well in the World Cup. Roberto Carlos and Cafu simply confirmed the poor club form that they have shown for a while, and so the team needs a change. My belief is that these players, along with Emerson, will not play any further part in the national team.

''The foundations should be Kaka and Ronaldinho. They are still our big hopes for the next World Cup. There will probably be a change of coach as well and, given the atmosphere around the squad and the disappointment of this tournament, I don't think that would be a bad thing,'' he explained.

Tostao also ridiculed Brazil's ''apathetic'' approach against France in the quarter-finals and for allowing the 1998 champions to control the game from start to finish.

''Brazil played very badly and the result was more than fair.

They got their game-plan wrong. The midfield sat very deep and gave (Zinedine) Zidane, (Patrick) Vieira and (Claude) Makelele a lot of space, so France could move the ball around and dominate the game. As well as that, individually the players were very poor. The result wasn't a surprise because France had the team to beat Brazil.'' the deep-lying Selecao centre-forward, who formed a famous forwardline alongside Pele and Jairzinho, said.

Tostao also blamed coach Carlos Alberto Parreira on the team's lack of aggressiveness and for allowing opposition to dictate terms on them.

''Brazil played the same way throughout the tournament, always giving the opposition a lot of space. Parreira likes his side to sit back, close off the defence and not leave any space in behind.

But, the opposition managed to get to the Brazilian back four and create a lot of chances. Brazil didn't deal with the situation, didn't try to win the ball and weren't aggressive in their style of play. In the first two games they flattered to deceive because their opponents were weak, and Brazil were able to win even though they played badly. When they finally played a team on the same level, those deficiencies were laid bare.'' On Ronaldinho's failure to live up to his billing, Tostao said the World Footballer of the Year was not given the role he used to perform for Barcelona.

''With Barcelona, Ronaldinho has a free role in attack. But more importantly, Barcelona play in a totally different style to Brazil. I knew that it would be impossible for Brazil to copy Barcelona's style of play, but even so, I hoped that Ronaldinho as an individual player could have played a bigger part. It was a real disappointment, but that doesn't take away from his quality.'' ''People aren't going to change their opinion of him just because of a few games, even if they were World Cup games, as he has been brilliant over a prolonged period of time. Both he and Kaka have every chance of regaining the glowing reputations that they had before the tournament,'' he added.

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