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By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In a press conference at the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) headquarters in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday (June 29th), coach Rogério Micale, announced the eighteen players who will play for the Brazilian Olympic national team in the upcoming 2016 Games. International stars Neymar and Douglas Costa, as well as local sensation Gabriel Barbosa, will lead the Seleção’s quest for its first ever gold medal.

Neymar takes to the field leading the Seleçãom Rio 2016 Olympic Football, Rio de janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Neymar takes to the field leading the Seleção at a Friendly match against Panama, photo by Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil.

The Olympic football (soccer) tournament is the only major international football competition that Brazil has never won. They have won the silver medal three times, at the 1984, 1988, and 2012 Games, and the bronze medal twice, at the 1996 and 2008 Games.

Just a short month ago, Dunga had been at the helm of both Brazil’s national and Olympic football teams. After his unceremonious firing two weeks ago following the national team’s embarrassing loss at the Copa América, Corinthians coach Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, known as Tite, stepped in as Dunga’s replacement to lead the Seleção.

The responsibility of leading the Olympic squad was handed to relatively unknown Rogério Micale, coach of Brazil’s National Under-20 youth football team.

At the press conference, Micale, accompanied by Tite, announced the eighteen-man Olympic team roster, with six players, including Neymar and Douglas Costa, coming from the European leagues, and the remaining twelve representing Brazil’s football league, the Campeonato Brasileiro.

Under current International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulations, Olympic football players must be under the age of 23, with each team having an exception for three overage players. Neymar and Douglas count as two of Brazil’s overage exceptions, with the remaining exception going to Palmeiras goalkeeper Fernando Prass.

When asked about Neymar, coach Micale, who has never worked directly with the international superstar, was looking forward to a face-to-face meeting between the two. “Neymar more than a world star is a human. A man with feelings and reactions as any of us,” Micale told the room full of reporters. “The conversation between us will be man to man,” he added, “I respect him and I’m sure he will respect the situation.”

Other players on Brazil’s roster include Barcelona midfielder Rafinha, Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos, Lazio midfielder Felipe Anderson and Santos forward Gabriel Barbosa.

Brazil is in Group A of the Olympic tournament, along with South Africa, Iraq, and Denmark. The host team’s quest for gold begins on August 3rd against South Africa, at Mané Garrincha Stadium in Brasília.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I am a strong supporter of Neymar wherever he plays. In fact many think i am a Barcelona supporter but i am only there for Neymar or i would go for Real Madrid. I like the players selected for the Olympic games but most warn that third world countries have no true ages and will bring even 40 year olds to play at the under 20 level so Brazil is in the group of death playing against two third world countries. That notwithstanding, i believe in King NEY, COSTA and Gabriel. I also love the presence of Rafinha, Marquinhos and Anderson.
    Neymar and co should know that referees are unchecked and so be very careful not to be booked. Brazil is hated by referees so they must be cautious.

  2. I am thankful to God for the sacking of DUNGA. He love low quality players like Augusto, Elias and Gil instead of Thiago Silva, and the great Brazilian players all over the world. I hope Elias, Renato and Gil will go back to their level and not disrupt the world known SELECAO! Let the new coach get competitive partners for one position so that if one is weak the other comes in and the competition remains. There should be no player who owns the position!!! That kills competition and kills football as well.

  3. Dunga should not only be sacked but jailed for embarrashing a renowned Mighty Brazil. With the calibre of Brazilian players all over and His mentally of formations really doesn’t correspond to our styles of football. We need someone to take us back to our golden days.

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