Rio Olympics:Brazil History

Brazil Olympic football team (also known asBrazil under-23, Brazil U23) represents Brazilin international football competitions inOlympic Games. The selection is limited to players under the age of 23, except three overage players. The team is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF). In 13 participations, Brazil won one gold medal (2016), three silver medals (1984, 1988 and2012) and two bronze medals (1996, 2008).

The Olympic football tournament was the last international competitium in football organized by FIFA which Brazil had never won until they won at home in 2016. They had previously won three silver medals (1984,1988 and 2012) and two bronze medals (19962008).[2] The Brazilian Olympic team is often coached by the current national team coach, such as Mário Zagallo in 1996, Dungain 2008 and Mano Menezes in 2012.


1952–1976 Summer Olympics

Brazil’s first participation in the Olympics was in HelsinkiFinland, in 1952. In that year, Brazil reached the quarter-finals, when they were eliminated by West Germany 4–2.[3] In 1960, in RomeItaly,[4] in 1964 in Tokyo,Japan,[5] in 1968 in Mexico CityMexico,[6] and in 1972 in BerlinWest Germany,[7] Brazil was eliminated in the first stage. In Montreal, 1976, Brazil was defeated by Poland 2–0 in the semi-finals, then Brazil was defeated by the Soviet Union 2–0 in the bronze medal match, finishing in the fourth place.[8] In these six participations, Brazil was represented by a team of junior or non-professional players as the Olympics did not allow professional players to participate during this period.

1984 Summer Olympics – Los Angeles

Starting in 1984, professional players were allowed to participate. However, European and South American teams were only allowed to include players with no more than five “A” caps at the start of the tournament. Brazil won its first medal in 1984, in Los Angeles,United States. In the group stage, Brazil beat Saudi Arabia 3–1, West Germany 1–0 and Morocco 2–0. In the quarter-finals Brazil defeated Canada in the penalty shootout, then they beat Italy 2–1 after extra-time in the semi-finals, but was beaten by France 2–0 in the gold medal Match, thus winning the silver medal.[9]

1988 Summer Olympics – Seoul

The second Brazilian silver medal was won inSeoulSouth Korea, in 1988. Brazil won the medal after defeating in the group stage Nigeria 4–0, Australia 3–0 and Yugoslavia 2–1. In the quarter-finals Brazil beat their South American rivals Argentina 1–0, then defeated West Germany in the penalty shootout, but was defeated by the Soviet Union 2–1 after extra time in the gold medal match.[10]Romário was the competition’s top goal scorer with seven goals.[11]

1996 Summer Olympics – Atlanta

Starting in 1992, only players under the age of 23 were allowed to participate, with an exception of three overage players in the team. Brazil, managed by senior team coach,Mário Zagallo, won the bronze medal for the first time in 1996, in AtlantaUnited States. In the group stage, Brazil was beaten by Japan 1–0 in the first match, then they beat Hungary 3–1 and Nigeria 1–0, finishing in the group’s first position. After beating Ghana 4–2 in the quarter-finals, Brazil was defeated by Nigeria 4–3 after extra time. In the bronze medal match, Brazil beat Portugal 5–0.[12]

2000 Summer Olympics – Sydney

Brazil, managed by senior team coach,Vanderlei Luxemburgo, was eliminated in the quarter-finals. In the group stage, Brazil beat by Slovakia 3–1 in the first match, then they were beaten by South Africa 3–1. In the last group match, Brazil beat Japan 1–0 to secure the first position in the group stage. In the quarter-finals, Brazil was beaten by Cameroon 1–2, who later won the gold medal.[13]

2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup

In December 2002, CBF appointed Ricardo Gomes as the coach for Brazil Olympic team prepared for the 2004 Olympic Games. Prior to the Olympic qualification tournament, Brazil Olympic team or Brazil U23 was sent to compete at 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Brazil was invited to the tournament and decided to send their Under-23 team because their senior team was competing at 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup a month earlier. Although Brazil competed as an Under-23 team, all the appearances and goals in this tournament were recognized by FIFA as full internationalcaps.[14] Brazil U-23 team went on to the final and was beaten by Mexico 0–1 after extra time, denying Brazil the chance to be the first guest team to win the tournament. The following year Brazil failed to qualify for the 2004 Olympic Games after losing out to Paraguay and Argentina in the qualifying tournament.[15]

2008 Summer Olympics – Beijing

Brazil, managed by senior team coach,Dunga, finished in the first position in the group stage, ahead of Belgium, New Zealand, and China, which they beat 1–0, 5–0 and 3–0, respectively.[16] In the second round, Brazil beat Cameroon 2–0 after extra time.[17] Brazil and Argentina met on August 19 in the semi-final game of the competition. The game was marred by numerous fouls and two ejections for Brazil. Argentina won 3–0.[18] In the bronze medal match, Brazil beat Belgium 3–0.[19]

2012 Summer Olympics – London

Brazil, under coach Mano Menezes, was defeated by Mexico 2–1 in the gold medal match, played on August 11,[20] after beating Egypt, Belarus and New Zealand in the preliminary round, Honduras in the quarter-finals and South Korea in the semi-finals. Before the Games, they beat the Great Britain team 2–0 in a friendly game.

2016 Summer Olympics – Rio de Janeiro

Brazil finished in the first position in the group stage, ahead of Denmark (won 4-0), Iraq (tied 0-0), and South Africa (tied 0-0). In the second round Brazil beat Colombia 2-0 and in the semi-final match, Brazil played a one-sided game against Honduras and won 6-0. In the final against Germany, on 20 August 2016, Brazil edged a 5-4 victory on penalties, after the teams had played out a 1-1 draw. Neymar, captaining the side, scored the decisive penalty.


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