Brazil men's soccer: What you need to know - WSMV News 4

Brazil men's soccer: What you need to know

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Last Olympic appearance

Brazil’s men’s soccer team won silver at the 2012 London Olympics. Led by the likes of Neymar, Thiago Silva, Hulk and Marcelo the team was undefeated going into the Gold Medal Match, but lost to Mexico 2-1. 


Overage players

Brazil’s 2016 Olympic team is led by Neymar as one of the team’s overage selections. Neymar is widely recognized as one of the top players in the world and all eyes will be on him at the Olympics as the host nation’s best player. At the London Olympics, Neymar scored three goals. 


Neymar is joined by 28-year-olds Renato Augusto and goalkeeper Weverton. Augusto is a center midfielder currently playing club soccer in China. He has also played in Brazil and Germany. Augusto was a late addition to the roster after Douglas Costa was not released for Olympic play. 


Weverton was a late roster addition to replace injured goalkeeper Fernando Prass. The goalkeeper has played his entire club career in Brazil, currently suiting up for Atletico Paranaense. 


Players to watch

Brazil’s roster is loaded with young talent highlighted by Marquinhos, Felipe Anderson, Rafinha and Gabriel Barbosa.


Marquinhos, a center back for Paris Saint-Germain, first began playing international soccer with Brazil’s U-17 team. He made his senior team debut in 2013 at the age of 19.


Felipe Anderson has played club soccer in Italy since 2013. The outside midfielder has only appeared in 14 matches in a Brazil uniform, but already has four international goals.


Rafinha, a teammate of Neymar’s at FC Barcelona, is a central midfielder. As a result of his dual citizenship, Rafinha has played in the youth systems of both Brazil and Spain. In 2015, he officially became a Brazilian international player.


At just 19 years old, Barbosa is viewed as Brazil’s next soccer star. The forward has two goals with Brazil’s senior team in just four matches.


Coach

Following Brazil’s early exit at the Copa America in June, the team fired its head coach, Dunga, who was set to lead Brazil at the Olympics. Rogerio Micale, who has coached in Brazil since 2004, was picked to replace Dunga as Brazil's Olympic team coach.


Medal hopes

Brazil has as much talent as any team at the Olympics and is one of the favorites to win gold. With a favorable group drawing of Denmark, Iraq and South Africa in Group A, Brazil should advance as the group winner.  


Brazil has the unique challenge of dealing with the pressure of playing on home soil in a country that has one of the proudest soccer histories in the world. Fans expect nothing less than gold from this team.


Disappointing performances in the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Copa America and the fact that Brazil has never won Olympic gold in men’s soccer only add to the pressure.



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