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Ronaldinho has been left out of Brazil’s squad for next month’s friendly with Ireland, making it highly unlikely he will make Dunga’s list of 23 for June’s World Cup.
It’s quite a come down for the former world player of the year but he has been having a much better season at AC Milan following three years of problems.
Ultimately, Ronaldinho may have timed his bid for South Africa too late just like several other players in Serie A.
Outside of Italy, MICHAEL OWEN is probably the best of example of a big name player looking set to miss the first finals in Africa.
Michael Owen’s quest to find favour under England coach Fabio Capello ahead of June’s World Cup finals may have got a little harder with the arrival of Senegalese striker Mame Biram Diouf at Manchester United.
In only his second appearance since joining from Norwegian side Molde, Diouf opened his United account with a well-taken header in Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League win over Burnley and has firmly installed himself as a rival for the precious substitute time Owen has so far enjoyed unchallenged this season.
Imagine the scenario … there are 10 minutes to go in the World Cup final and England are 1-0 down.
Fabio Capello can choose between Michael Owen and Darren Bent to come off the bench and rescue England’s World Cup dream. Who will he turn to?
Sports professionals are forever banging on about “taking the positives” from setbacks but for everyone connected with City, their performance and the whole occasion on Sunday showed that they really will be a force to be reckoned with over the next few months and years.
Michael Owen missed four glorious chances in Manchester United’s 2-0 friendly win over Valencia but the very fact that he was there to miss them signals a real chance of the former Liverpool reviving his career for club and country.
Owen’s failure to find the net was described as a wasted opportunity by some, given that England coach Fabio Capello was there watching him, but consider … playing for Newcastle at the end of last season, when did he look in with a chance of scoring even one?
Most Manchester United fans will not have been excited when they heard of the club’s plans to sign Michael Owen. The experienced England striker certainly did not fit the usual profile of Alex Ferguson’s signings, at too old and far too injury-prone.
But could Owen prove to be another one of Ferguson’s transfer masterstrokes to rank alongside the likes of Eric Cantona and Henrik Larsson?
On the face of it, replacing world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo with an injury-prone forward whose side just got relegated does not seem like a great bit of business.
The British media is certain that Michael Owen, a free agent after leaving Newcastle United, is on the verge of joining Manchester United if he passes a stringent medical.
Quite how far Michael Owen’s career has nosedived was underlined at the weekend when the Newcastle United striker was again overlooked for his country despite the lack of attacking options for coach Fabio Capello.
Capello watched three of his squad strikers hobble off at Wembley on Saturday during the 4-0 friendly victory over Slovakia with Emile Heskey and Carlton Cole both ruled out of Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against Ukraine.
Rafa Benitez needs to pull a rabbit from the hat again in the New Year but if Liverpool are going to end that long wait for a title they need a more creative player than Michael Owen.
If Liverpool fans with longish memories have faith that the coming of a striker can make the difference you can understand why. The last time Liverpool were champions, back in 1990, their successful run-in was inspired by Ronny Rosenthal, an Israeli forward who arrived seemingly from nowhere on or near deadline day (my memory’s a bit fuzzy).
Fabio Capello said Michael Owen’s England career is not necessarily over after omitting the Newcastle man from his squad again for the Kazakhstan and Belarus World Cup qualifiers.
But the manager’s history in Serie A suggests it’s going to be mighty tough for Owen to get back.