For Brazil’s men’s soccer team it will be a case of all or nothing. The national team will only be satisfied winning the gold medal at the 2012 London games. Brazil has come under great pressure to take home the gold, as it is the only significant tournament the country has not won.
The five-time world champions will have the majority of their top-flight players on the roster. If they do not win gold, their coach Mano Menezes will likely be out of a job. Menezes does not want that, as Brazil will be hosting the next World Cup in 2014.
The Brazilian Soccer Federation has said already that winning a gold medal is the top priority for the national team this year and made hints that a disappointing outcome would prompt coaching changes as Brazil enters its stretch run leading up to hosting the World Cup.
The majority of players on the Olympic team for Brazil will also play in the next World Cup and the competition will give a number of the young, promising players in Brazil a chance to show their worth to the coaches.
Menezes said that the final evaluation for the team will be in the Confederations Cup in 2013 before the World Cup, but the London games are still very important to reinforce our thoughts about how good the team is at present.
Very few of the participating countries in the Olympics will have top players because the age limit of 23 is imposed and only three players above that age are allowed to play. Brazil has a number of players who play internationally, who are under 23, such as Neymar, Lucas, Pato, Ganso and Oscar. Their three overage players are Thiago Silva, Hulk and Marcelo all of whom play in Europe.