LONDON - David Beckham and Ronaldinho are back in their national team squads against familiar foes and the AC Milan teammates are out to prove they deserve a shot at another World Cup.
Dropped by manager Fabio Capello for England's last game, Beckham has been recalled for tomorrow's friendly against European champions Spain in Seville.
Ronaldinho was left out of Brazil's last three games by coach Dunga but has been selected to face Italy.
A few months ago, it looked as if both stars might miss out on playing at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Now they have a great chance and the common thread is that the breakthrough happened after they moved to seven-time European champions Milan.
Ronaldinho moved to the San Siro after a disappointing end to his five-year spell with Barcelona, arriving overweight and short of fitness. He worked hard in training, returned to goal-scoring form in Serie A and that impressed Dunga.
Beckham lost his place in a friendly against Germany last November because he was idle.
The Los Angeles Galaxy failed to qualify for the MLS playoffs and Beckham moved to Milan on loan and scored twice in six appearances. He did enough to earn a recall.
l Chelsea have sacked manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, the English Premier League club said yesterday.
"Luiz Felipe Scolari has been dismissed as manager of Chelsea Football Club with immediate effect," a statement said on www.chelseafc.com. - Sapa-AP and Reuters