The Olympics in Rio has had some negative press pre-tournament and whilst there have been odd instances and issues once it has begun, the sport has been the main story with some outstanding performances across the competing nations. Brazil as the home country have won three gold medals at the time of this blog being posted, but the one they crave more than any other is the men’s football Olympic title, the only international competition their side has never won. In London 2012 they made the final but lost surprisingly to Mexico in the final. My personal thoughts was the team went into it thinking the gold was already theirs before kick off and were deservedly beaten by the Mexicans, there were no complaints.
So an historic triumph is now just a game away and revenge is in the air – more on that later. The Neymar led team started the tournament poorly booed off after awful performances in their opening two games, 0-0 draws against South Africa and Iraq, but since then they have scored 12 unanswered goals including six against Honduras in the semi-final. Their quarter final 2-0 win over Colombia was the standout though a potentially tricky game that turned into a ‘kickathon’ – from both teams – but they survived and now are one game away from the gold medal the whole of Brazil wants more than any other.
Now I mentioned revenge before and the reason why is because it is the Germans that are the obstacle to Brazilian glory this Saturday (20th August) and untold joy across their country. Now the last time a team from Brazil and a team from Germany played each other in the South American country was the World Cup semi-final of 2014 in Belo Horizonte the final score 1-7 to Germany!!!!!!! A thrashing, a national embarrassment and something the Brazilian people have tried to blank from their minds. It will now be brought up again even though it is an under 23 tournament (with 3 over age players) – but it is Germany and the recollections are still very raw. The plan for the hosts will be to expunge the 2014 calamity from the memory by winning their first ever Olympic gold medal on home soil and beating the European side that inflicted their worst ever home defeat, that would be the icing on the cake, along with the gold medal, even if the teams are not necessarily first choice. I think they can do it, they may well concede for the first time in the tournament but that will be a late German consolation in a 3-1 Brazil win and then a very long party can begin.
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