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Brazil focused on winning first football gold

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Brazil player Neymar (R) vies for the ball with South Africa player Abbubaker Mobara, during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games First Round Group A men's football match Brazil vs South Africa, at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia on August 4, 2016. EVARISTO SA / AFP

Brazil player Neymar (R) vies for the ball with South Africa player Abbubaker Mobara, during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games First Round Group A men’s football match Brazil vs South Africa, at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia on August 4, 2016.<br />EVARISTO SA / AFP

The Olympic Games’ gold medal is the only honour in world football that Brazil has never won. They have come close to the diadem on a number of occasions, but they somehow always fail to nick it.

Now on home soil, they believe there is no better opportunity to grab the elusive gold than the Rio 2016 Games.

That desire for the gold medal has overshadowed the controversy over their unpaid camp and other bonuses.

Brazil will meet Honduras in one of the semifinals of the football event today at the iconic Maracana Stadium and defender, Marquinhos, says the row over bonus will not affect their quest for the gold medal.

“We do not talk about bonuses; we have not reached a definite value (with the Brazilian federation). The dream for me, the team and the fans, is to be champions,” he said.

Their opponents beat Argentina in the quarterfinals to get to this stage. The Honduras’ team will become the first from their country to win an Olympic gold medal if they beat Brazil and win the final game on Saturday. And they are ready to go all the way.

Led by Jose Luis Pinto, who took Costa Rica to the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup, Honduras are ready to cause a major upset here today.

Pinto acknowledged that Brazil will get massive support from their home crowd, adding, however, that “we will have the mental and emotional control of it.

“I am very respectful of Brazilian football but today you can’t win due to the supporters or the colour of your shirt.’’

In Neymar and Gabriel Jesus, Brazil have game winners, who are buoyed by the opportunity to become the first of their country’s greats to win the gold medal.


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