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Brazilian hopes for Olympic gold ride on Neymar, Costa

Brazilian hopes for Olympic gold ride on Neymar, Costa

Posted by PanamericanWorld on June 30, 2016

Neymar and Douglas Costa will lead the team tasked with winning Brazil's first Olympic gold medal in soccer at the 2016 Games here in Rio.

The third of the three overage spots on the roster went to veteran goalkeeper Fernando Prass, who has no prior international experience.

Coach Rogerio Micale presented the list of 18 players during a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, where the Olympics begin Aug. 5.

Neymar, partner of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in the world-beating Barcelona offense, is "one of the best in the world," Micale said.

"Any coach would be happy to have a player like that, but we need to have other leaders on the team," he added, pointing to the presence of Palmeiras keeper Prass and Bayern Munich striker Costa.

The rules of Olympic soccer allow the inclusion of three players over the age of 23.

While Neymar, 24, and Costa, 25, were sure bets for the Olympic squad after sitting out the Copa America, Micale's choice of the 37-year-old Prass for the remaining slot surprised some.

"He (Prass) is the captain of his team, a leader in the dressing room and is currently distinguishing himself with a great season with his club," the coach said. "He has experience and technical factors with a leadership profile, he wants to win all the time and that is what we need."

Besides Neymar and Costa, the other prominent names on the Brazil Olympic roster are Marquinhos of Paris Saint-Germain, Barça's Rafinha Alcantara, Fred of Shakhtar Donetsk, and Felipe Anderson of Lazio.

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