Brazil have announced Barcelona superstar Neymar and Bayern Munich playmaker Douglas Costa as part of their 18-man squad to play at the Olympics in August.
Neymar was a part of the squad that finished the London Olympics in silver medal position and will be desperate to lead his side to gold on home soil.
Under-20 coach Rogerio Micale will manage the side and has sprung the surprise inclusion of 37-year-old goalkeeper Fernando Prass as his third and final overage player. Prass is one of just two goalkeepers in the squad which includes a number of household names.
Marquinhos, Rafinha and Felipe Anderson have all played starring roles in France, Spain and Italy respectively and will be burdened with helping Neymar and Douglas Costa to ensuring the home crowd sees yellow and blue atop of the podium at the completion of the soccer event.
Young forwards Gabriel Barbosa (Santos) and Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras) are two locally based players that have caught the eye of a number of European scouts and are expected to shine at Rio 2016.
The hosts open their Olympic account on August 4 against South Africa before completing their group A schedule with matches against Iraq and Denmark.
Brazil Olympic team:
Fernando Prass (Palmeiras), Uilson (Atletico-MG)
Luan (Vasco), Rodrigo Caio (Sao Paulo), Marquinhos (PSG), Douglas Santos (Atletico-MG), Zeca (Santos), Willian (Internacional)
Rafinha (Barcelona), Rodrigo Dourado (Internacional), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk), Thiago Maia (Santos), Felipe Anderson (Lazio)
Neymar (Barcelona), Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich), Gabriel Barbosa (Santos), Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras), Luan (Gremio)
How they qualified
Though already guaranteed an Olympic berth in their capacity as hosts, Brazil took part in the 2015 South American U-20 Championship, the qualifying competition for Rio 2016. A Canarinha scored three wins in taking second place in Group B behind hosts Uruguay, to whom they lost. Further defeats came against Argentina and Colombia in the final phase, in which they finished fourth with a mere seven points.
Former Olympic stars for Brazil
Dunga (1984); Taffarel, Jorginho, Ricardo Gomes, Mazinho, Romario (1988); Dida, Roberto Carlos, Bebeto, Rivaldo, Ronaldo (1996), Ronaldinho (2000 and 2008); Thiago Silva, Marcelo, Neymar (2012).
Photo: Neymar at the 2012 London Olympics
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