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The former Real Madrid midfielder has defended the performances of the Selecao pair, insisting that they will both have important roles to play over the course of the World Cup

AC Milan midfielder Kaka has thrown his support behind fellow countrymen Fred and Oscar, stating that the two Brazil stars deserve their place in the starting line-up at the World Cup.

The Selecao have progressed to the quarter-final stages as a result of defeating Chile 3-2 on penalties in Belo Horizonte on Saturday, where the sides had been locked on 1-1 after extra time.

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Both Fred and Oscar started the last-16 clash with la Roja but have been under scrutiny in their homeland for their displays, which is something Kaka does not believe is justified.

"We should remember that Fred had a very good Confederations Cup last year," the 32-year-old said in an interview with the Times of India.

"He has a lot to give to the team. He's had a slow start but picked up and can become one of Brazil's big players as the tournament goes on.

"[Oscar] has done very well. Before the start of the tournament there was a lot of debate in Brazil about whether Oscar should start, but he played really well against Croatia and scored an important goal.

"He has shown he deserves to be in the starting XI for Brazil. He is always willing to help the team, not just do his own job."

Kaka, a World Cup winner in 2002, also believes that that the Verde-Amarela are well positioned to be successful, with South American teams potentially better rested than their European counterparts.

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"The European teams are coming on the back of a long and hard season," he said when asked why the likes of Italy and England had struggled.

"Some of the South American players are only halfway through their seasons. Also the climate may have played a part. That, too, may have had an effect.

"But don't forget Germany and Holland, who have had a full European season, have played well and are through."

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