Barca to block Ronnie from Olympics
Barcelona said Tuesday they are ready to play hardball and prevent Ronaldinho from joining the Brazil squad for the Beijing Games.
Brazil coach Dunga on Monday included the Brazilian wizard along with Real Madrid's Robinho in his squad but Barca, who have already made it clear that Ronaldinho is surplus to requirements, are nonetheless demanding he turn up for pre-season training on July 14.
"FC Barcelona have called on Ronaldinho to join training on July 14 along with the rest of the first team squad," a club statement indicated on the Barca website.
Barcelona noted that "the (Olympic) Games do not form part of the FIFA calendar ... therefore the club is not obliged to make its players available."
Argentine forward Lionel Messi is also in a similar bind and Barca have already written to the Argentine Football Association requesting that he be available for pre-season training with the Catalan club having to compete in the Champions League preliminaries.
Brazil compete in Group C in Beijing where they face Belgium on August 7, as well as hosts China and New Zealand.