Rio 2016: Neymar, Douglas Costa Headline Brazil squad for Olympics

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Barcelona star Neymar and Bayern Munich forward Douglas Costa are the two big names in the Brazilian men’s football team for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The host nation, which is determined to win the only major international football title it lacks, confirmed its 18-man squad on Wednesday (29 June).

Men’s Olympic football is contested predominantly by under-23 players, but each squad may feature three ‘over-age’ players.

Brazil coach Rogéiro Micale selected Neymar, Douglas and Palmeiras goalkeeper Fernando Prass to fill these slots.

Among the other players in the squad are Barcelona midfielder Rafinha, Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos, Lazio midfielder Felipe Anderson and Santos forward Gabriel Barbosa, who has been dubbed ‘the new Neymar’.

Green light from Barça Neymar himself has repeatedly stated his desire to help Brazil win their first Olympic title, and Barcelona indicated in April that they would release him for the Rio 2016 Games.

Speaking at the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) in Rio, Micale said Costa had also showed a strong desire to play at the Olympic Games.

“Since the beginning he has displayed that he wants to be involved in this project, that playing in the Games would be a dream for him.”

Goalkeepers: Fernando Prass (Palmeiras, Brazil)
Uilson (Atlético-MG, Brazil)

Defenders:
Luan (Vasco da Gama, Brazil)
Rodrigo Caio (São Paulo, Brazil)
Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain, France)
Douglas Santos (Atlético-MG, Brazil)
Zeca (Santos, Brazil)

Midfielders:
Williams (Internacional, Brazil)
Rafinha (Barcelona, Spain)
Rodrigo Dourado (Internacional, Brazil)
Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine)
Thiago Maia (Santos, Brazil)
Felipe Anderson (Lazio, Italy)

Attackers:
Neymar (Barcelona, Spain)
Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich, Germany)
Gabriel Barbosa (Santos, Brazil)
Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras, Brazil)
Luan (Grêmio, Brazil)

Six matches stand in between football’s most successful nation and their first Olympic football gold medal.

They will kick-off their campaign against South Africa, at the Mané Garrincha Stadium in the country’s capital Brasília, at 4pm local time on 3 August.

Their second contest will take place at the same venue against Iraq at 10pm on 7 August.

Their final group stage match will take place at 10pm on 10 August against Denmark, in the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador.