Rio de Janeiro: Striker Fred and goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri, key figures in Fluminense’s Brazilian championship victory, have earned places in the Brazil squad for a rearranged friendly with Argentina.
The pair, overlooked throughout the year despite telling contributions to Flu’s title victory with three matches to spare on Sunday, were named by coach Mano Menezes in a 19-man squad on Tuesday.
The match at Boca Juniors’ La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires on November 21 is for teams picked only from the arch-rivals’ domestic leagues, so does not include players such as Kaka, Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, and is the return of a double-header after Brazil’s 2-1 win in Gioania in September.
It was to have been played in Resistencia, in the northern Argentine province of Chaco on October 3, but a floodlight failure with the players already on the field before kick-off forced the referee to abandon it. Local media reports blamed sabotage against Chaco governor Jorge Capitanich, a staunch supporter of Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez.
Three other Flu players were picked: full back Carlinhos and midfielders Jean and Thiago Neves.
Fred, the Brazilian championship’s top scorer with 19 goals, already has close to 20 caps. The 29-year-old striker played at the 2006 World Cup.
Forwards Neymar and Leandro Damiao, midfielders Arouca, Paulinho and Thiago Neves, defenders Fabio Santos and Rever and goalkeeper Jefferson are also in the first-choice squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Colombia in New York.