Brazil coach Mano Menezes named a star studded squad for the London 2012 Olympics today featuring Thiago Silva, Marcelo and Hulk as Brazil's three players over the age of 23. Brazil travel to the London Olympics in search of the elusive Olympic gold medal, the only major soccer trophy they have yet to win.
Previously, the Brazil men’s Olympic soccer team earned two silver medals and two bronze medals. Brazil won the silver medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and 1988 Olympics in Seoul and the bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and the 2008 games in Seoul. This year’s squad is widely considered one of the strongest ever and correspondingly, Brazilian football hopes are pinned on the Olympics in the absence of positive results by the national team at the 2010 World Cup and the 2011 Copa America.
Highlights of Brazil’s 2012 Olympic squad include the following:
• Overage players in the form of Thiago Silva, Hulk and Marcelo
• Selection of Rafael and Danilo as right-backs and the omission of Barcelona's Dani Alves
• Two deeper playing midfielders in Romulus and Sandro
• Three attacking midfield options in the form of Oscar, Paulo Henrique Ganso and Lucas Moura
• Four strikers as represented by Neymar, Hulk, Pato and Leandro Damiao
Brazil are in Group C along with Egypt, Belarus and New Zealand. Mano Menezes’s team kick off their quest for Olympic gold with an opening match in group play against Egypt on July 26 in Cardiff. They play Belarus on July 29 and New Zealand on August 1. AC Milan’s Thiago Silva is likely to captain the team.
Brazil 2012 Olympic Squad
Goalkeepers: Neto (Fiorentina), Rafael (Santos).
Defenders: Alex Sandro (Porto), Rafael (Manchester United), Danilo (Porto), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Bruno Uvini (Sao Paulo), Juan (Inter Milan), Thiago Silva (Milan).
Midfielders: Romulus (Vasco), Sandro (Tottenham), Oscar (Internacional), Paulo Henrique Ganso (Santos), Lucas Moura (Sao Paulo).
Strikers: Alexandre Pato (Milan), Hulk (Porto), Leandro Damiao (Internacional), Neymar (Santos).