Not since elimination from 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa at the hands of the Netherlands – being passed in the table by eventual champions Spain and the Netherlands has Brazil held the No1 position. However, recent wins over Uruguay and Paraguay in booking their place at Russia 2018 secured their return to top spot.
It has been confirmed that the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men’s and women’s football tournaments will take place in six cities: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Manaus, Brasília and Belo Horizonte. It has also been decided that the 58 matches will be staged at: Corinthians Arena (São Paulo), the Maracanã and Olympic Stadium (Rio de Janiero), Arena Fonte Nova (Salvador), Mané Garrincha Stadium (Brasília), Amazônia Arena (Manaus – photo) and the Mineirão (Belo Horizonte).
“The inclusion of Manaus in the Rio 2016 Olympic schedule will enrich the tournament with a visit of the football players to one of the most iconic locations in the world,” said Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman. “I am certain that the Amazon will welcome the Olympic world with a memorable celebration.”
Football is the only sport that will be hosted outside of Rio de Janeiro, with the tournament taking the Rio 2016 Games out to the rest of Brazil. There will be 16 teams in the men’s competition and 12 in the women’s tournament.
Marco Polo Del Nero, chairman of the FIFA Organising Committee for the Olympic Football Tournaments, said: “The Olympic football tournaments will be a fantastic opportunity to revive the great atmosphere seen during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, not only in Rio de Janeiro, but also in the other five cities. They did an excellent job in 2014, and now they can use the World Cup stadiums and infrastructure already in place to unite the country for a major event once more. I am confident that the participating teams will have an unforgettable Olympic experience.”
Two South American teams are already confirmed in the Rio 2016 men’s football competition: Brazil, as host country, and Argentina, as the winners of the South American under-20 championship. In the women’s tournament, Colombia confirmed their place, along with hosts Brazil, by finishing runners-up in last year’s Copa America. All the remaining places will be decided by April 2016.
The men’s Olympic football competition features players up to the age of 23 (born after 31 December 1992), with the exception of three ‘over-age’ players per nation. The16 teams will be divided into four groups of four and the competition will begin on 4 August, one day before the Olympic Games opening ceremony. The two best-performing members of each group will qualify for the quarter-finals. The final will be played on 20 August, a day before the closing ceremony, at the Maracanã Stadium.
In the women’s competition there are no age restrictions. The 12 teams will be split into three groups of four, and matches will start on 3 August. The top two teams in each group and the two best third-placed teams will progress to the quarter-finals. The final will be played on 19 August, also at the Maracanã Stadium.
The city of Belo Horizonte, that hosted 6 games during the FIFA World Cup, and the state of Minas Gerais, are the new power house of Brazilian football with local teams Cruzeiro and Atlético-MG winning respectively the Brazilian championship and Copa do Brasil for 2014. The final of the cup was actually played between Cruzeiro and Atlético-MG.
Both Cruzeiro (1976 and 1997) and Atlético-MG (2013) have previously won the Copa Libertadores, the top club tournament in South America.
The Copa America will take place in Chile from 11 June to 4 July 2015. Host Chile and existing champions Uruguay will face eight other South American countries along with invited guests Mexico and Jamaica.
The three groups are:
GROUP A: Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia
GROUP B: Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Jamaica
GROUP C: Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela
Top two from each group go through to the quarter finals plus the best two third place teams.
First held in 1916, current champions Uruguay have won the cup 15 times, followed by Argentina with 14, Brazil with 8, Paraguay and Peru with 2, and Colombia and Bolivia with one title each. Brazil last one the cup in 2007 and 2004. It is the oldest international continental football competition.
The tournament schedule is:
Date / Time (local) / Teams
June 11 8:30 p.m. Chile vs. Ecuador
June 12 8:30 p.m. Mexico vs. Bolivia
June 13 4 p.m. Uruguay vs. Jamaica
June 13 6:30 p.m. Argentina vs. Paraguay
June 14 4 p.m. Colombia vs. Venezuela
June 14 6:30 p.m. Brazil vs. Peru
June 15 6 p.m. Ecuador vs. Bolivia
June 15 8:30 p.m. Chile vs. Mexico
June 16 6 p.m. Paraguay vs. Jamaica
June 16 8:30 p.m. Argentina vs. Uruguay
June 17 8:30 p.m. Brazil vs. Colombia
June 18 8:30 p.m. Peru vs. Venezuela
June 19 6 p.m. Mexico vs. Ecuador
June 19 8:30 p.m. Chile vs. Bolivia
June 20 4 p.m. Uruguay vs. Paraguay
June 20 6:30 p.m. Argentina vs. Jamaica
June 21 4 p.m. Colombia vs. Peru
June 21 6:30 p.m. Brazil vs. Venezuela
June 24 8:30 p.m. TBD vs. TBD Quarter-Final
June 25 8:30 p.m. TBD vs. TBD Quarter-Final
June 26 8:30 p.m. TBD vs. TBD Quarter-Final
June 27 6:30 p.m. TBD vs. TBD Quarter-Final
June 29 8:30 p.m. TBD vs. TBD Semi-Final
June 30 8:30 p.m. TBD vs. TBD Semi-Final
July 3 8:30 p.m. TBD vs. TBD 3rd Place
July 4 7 p.m. TBD vs. TBD Final
To access the photo CLICK HERE
Brazil is to be represented by 259 athletes (136 men, 123 women) at the London 2012 Olympic Games. They will be competing in 32 different disciplines.
The Brazilian Olympic Committee (Comitê Olímpico Brasileiro – COB) expects that the total haul of medals will be similar to that achieved by Brazil in Beijing at the 2008 Olympics, when the country won 15 medals including two individual golds (César Cielo in the men’s 50m freestyle swimming; and Maurren Maggi in the women’s long jump) and one team gold (women’s volleyball).
Brazil hopes to be better placed to win a higher number of medals when Rio de Janeiro hosts the Olympics in 2016.
Brazilian fans are hoping that at Wembley Stadium the men and women’s football teams can finally end their long and exasperating wait for an Olympic gold. Both have won silver in the past. The women in Beijing, losing to the United States in the final; and the men in 1984 in Los Angeles, losing to France in the final, and in 1988 in Seoul, losing to the Soviet Union. In Beijing the men’s team won bronze. The Olympics is the only international competition in football organized by FIFA that Brazil has never won.
Brazil Coach Mano Menezes has selected a strong group for the men’s team for the 2012 Olympics including Porto striker Hulk alongside AC Milan’s Thiago Silva and Real Madrid left-back Marcelo as his three over-age players.
Some of the world’s leading stickers have been named in the squad including Santos’ Neymar who has scored nine goals in 18 games for the senior Brazil team, while Hulk and AC Milan’s Pato have also impressed for the full side.
Premier League players include Rafael, of Manchester United, and Tottenham midfielder Sandro.
The full Brazil squad for London is: Rafael Cabral (Santos), Neto (Fiorentina); Alex Sandro (Porto), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Rafael (Manchester United), Danilo (Porto), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), Bruno Uvini (Sao Paulo), Juan (Inter Milan); Sandro (Tottenham), Romulo (Spartak Moscow), Paulo Henrique Ganso (Santos), Oscar (Internacional), Lucas Moura (Sao Paulo); Neymar (Santos), Leandro Damiao (International), Alexandre Pato (AC Milan), Hulk (Porto).