Soccer-Brazil spring surprise by picking Fernandinho

* City midfielder called up by Scolari

* Brazil name squad for S.Africa match (Adds quotes, detail)

By Andrew Downie

SAO PAULO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho was a surprise inclusion when Brazil named their squad on Tuesday for the World Cup warmup in South Africa next month.

Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari's selections were almost as notable for who was missing as for who was chosen.

Former regulars Robinho, Kaka, Lucas Leiva, Hernanes and Maicon were among the absentees and in-form Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho was also overlooked.

The 28-year-old Fernandinho featured under former coach Mano Menezes, and Scolari has recalled him for the final friendly before he announces his 23-man World Cup squad on May 7.

"Fernandinho is playing well and this is an opportunity for him," Scolari told reporters.

The squad of 16 includes four from Chelsea plus Bayern Munich pair Rafinha and Dante.

Scolari plans to take 18 or 19 players for the March 5 encounter in Johannesburg because of the travel involved and the short time they will spend in the country.

"We are going to arrive at midnight on the Monday, we will train Tuesday and play Wednesday so what's the point of taking 22 players," said the coach.

Former Chelsea and Portugal boss Scolari will announce the additional Brazil-based players, including a goalkeeper and two strikers, by Feb. 24.

He warned reporters not to draw too many conclusions from his selections because he was taking a streamlined squad and also due to the fact there is still a chance for players to impress him ahead of the World Cup.

"I am always observing, there might still be another surprise in the final squad," said Scolari. "We can never be sure the ones we are going to choose will be in the optimum condition when it comes time to choose our final squad."

Brazil, hosting the World Cup for the first time since 1950, kick off the competition against Croatia on June 12. Mexico and Cameroon are the other two teams in Group A.


Goalkeeper: Julio Cesar (Queens Park Rangers)

Defenders: David Luiz (Chelsea), Dante (Bayern Munich), Thiago Silva (Paris St Germain), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Rafinha (Bayern Munich)

Midfielders: Luiz Gustavo (VfL Wolfsburg), Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Ramires (Chelsea), Oscar (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea)

Forwards: Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg), Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), Neymar (Barcelona) (Editing by Tony Jimenez)