It seemed that Robinho's time with the Brazil national team was well and truly over. There were even doubts that he could ever get back to the level he showed during his finer years in club football, but the former Real Madrid and Milan player has turned things around completely and Robinho is once again a key player for the Canarinho. A sterling Paulista campaign with Santos did him no harm but in the end it was the faith of Dunga that saw him return to the national fold.
The Brazil manager has managed to get the best out of the attacking midfielder, who is playing as he did in 2007 when he was at peak for Brazil when the team won the Copa América in style, thrashing Argentina in the final and Robinho finished the tournament as top scorer. Dunga was the manager at that time as well.
Eight years later, after the trajectories of both men had veered off into such different territory, destiny has brought them together again for Brazil. One of the first things Dunga did when he took over after the fiasco of the World Cup was to reinstate Robinho. It was a brave and controversial decision. But since then Robinho has played in half of the matches Dunga has overseen and finally was included in the Copa América squad. Following Neymar's suspension the Santos player can expect to the in the starting line-up and, Dunga hopes, as influential as he was in 2007.
Follow the Copa América timetable here.
And the day-to-day fixtures here.