x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Ronaldinho given the chance to revive

The ever-teeming football storylines of Brazil and Argentina will intersect again tonight with new managers and the new, old Ronaldinho.

DOHA // Six time zones from Buenos Aires and five from Rio de Janeiro, the ever-teeming football storylines of Brazil and Argentina will intersect again tonight with new managers and the new, old Ronaldinho.

Their 94th meeting will help define the fledgling managing tenures of Brazil's Mano Menezes and Argentina's Sergio Batista, each hired to heal World Cup quarter-final disappointments.

Their seventh meeting outside their two countries - and first since the Copa America final of July 2007 in Venezuela - will feature Brazil's 30-year-old former kingpin Ronaldinho in the national side for the first time since April 1, 2009.

And their first appearances at Khalifa International Stadium will help Qatar burnish its 2022 World Cup bid two weeks before that verdict.

Since supplanting Dunga on July 24 for Brazil, Menezes, the former Corinthians manager, has overseen wins of 2-0 over the United States, 3-0 over Iran in Abu Dhabi and 2-0 over Ukraine in England.

Alexandre Pato, the AC Milan attcking midfielder who has scored in all three friendlies, is out but Robinho, who has scored six goals in his 10 internationals in 2010, is fit to play.

Batista replaced Diego Maradona on July 27 as Argentina's caretaker manager and was ultimately promoted to the official helm in September. Under his command, Argentina have defeated Republic of Ireland 1-0 and thumped Spain 4-1 before going down 1-0 to Japan.

Batista will be without Manchester City's injured Carlos Tevez but Barcelona's Lionel Messi is available, despite scoring only once in his last nine internationals.