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06.06.2007 19:20

Ronaldinho desperate to play derby


FC Barcelona is to appeal against Ronaldinho’s red card in an effort to have his one-match ban overturned. The Brazilian is keeping his fingers crossed that he’ll be able to play against Espanyol.

The Club’s legal team will present the appeal to the Comité Español de Disciplina Deportiva (CEDD) and call for the match ban to be lifted while the case is considered. If successful, this would allow Ronaldinho to play on Saturday.

The Brazilian is back in Barcelona after his international commitments and has expressed his hope that he’ll be able to play against Espanyol: “Let’s wait until tomorrow (Thursday). I’ve been told it’ll be very complicated for me to play the derby but we’ll wait and see what happens”.

Only Barça

If the ban is upheld, Ronaldinho will have to watch the match from a seat in the Camp Nou: “From the terraces you suffer more than on the pitch and even more so when you know there are only two games left in the league”. Asked if he would be listening to the radio commentary of Real Madrid’s match away to Zaragoza, which is being played at the same time, Ronaldinho insisted: “I won’t be following it because I’m only thinking about Barça”.

In good shape

Ronaldinho has played two friendlies with Brazil over the last few days. Against England in the new Wembley stadium (1-1) he played the full 90 minutes while against Turkey (0-0) he came on for the second half. He told us that he’s been training well and is in good shape to resume training with Barça on Thursday afternoon. He also denied any kind of bust-up with Brazil manager Dunga: “Relations with the national manager are very good. Now I just hope that everything goes well for my team-mates in the Copa America”.

Interest from Milan

There are plenty of reports in the international sports press about an interest from Milan in signing Ronaldinho. His Brazilian team-mate and one of the stars of the Milan squad, Kaká, recently told “La Gazetta dello Sport”: “ Ronaldinho will stay with Barcelona”. Ronaldinho himself told us: “I’m very happy in Barcelona. I’ve never spoken about anything else”.
Ronaldinho desperate to play derby
No Barça players for Brazil in Copa America
On Wednesday, Brazil manager Dunga announced his squad of 22 players to dispute this summer’s Copa America (from 26th June to 15th July). Neither Edmílson nor Ronaldinho – who asked to be excluded so he could recover from accumulated tiredness - were included. Ronaldinho told reporters: “It’s good news as we will be able to prepare properly and be in good shape for next season”.

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