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Defending champions Brazil name men’s football squad for Tokyo Olympics

Defending champions Brazil has named men's football squad for Tokyo Olympics. Photo: @CBF_Futebol

Sao Paulo, June 18 (MNN) Dani Alves, Douglas Luis, Malcom and Matheus Cunha are among the biggest names on the 18-man Brazil squad announced on Friday by the national football body for the Tokyo Olympics.

The Brazilian squad that aims to defend their Olympic football crown named by the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol includes the most decorated player — 38-year-old former Barcelona player Dani Alves, who now plays for Sao Paulo in the Brazilian league.

The right-back won three Champions League titles, with the last coming in a stellar 2015 season in which Barca won the league, cup and European cup treble.

Joining him in Tokyo is another former Barcelona player, Malcom, who now plays for FC Zenit Saint Petersburg in the Russian league.

Another of the names on the list is Hertha BSC’s Matheus Cunha, who plies his trade in the Bundesliga. Cunha showed his silky skills when he scored the Puskas Award-winning goal in 2019 (see below).

Among the standout players from Brazil’s domestic league, Claudinho of Red Bull Bragantino is sure to be one of the top names to watch at this year’s Olympics. The talented attacking midfielder won last year’s Brazilian Player of the Year Award (Craque do Brasileirão).

Brazil start their Olympic campaign against Germany on July 22 in the International Stadium Yokohama.

They then go on to play Côte d’Ivoire on July 25, before ending the group stages with a match against Saudi Arabia in Saitama Stadium.

The match-up against Germany is a repeat of the Rio 2016 final, which Brazil won 5-4 on penalties after the game finished 1-1 after extra time. In that match, a first-half free-kick from Neymar was cancelled out by a Max Meyer strike in front of a 78,000-strong crowd at the famed Maracana stadium.

An exuberant Neymar exclaimed after the game: “This is one of the best things that has happened in my life. That’s it.”

There will, however, be no chance of a second Olympic gold for Neymar, who was not selected for the tournament. Instead, the chance to win back-to-back Olympic golds – and the pride that comes with that – will lie in the hands of a new group of footballers, including Dani Alves, Malcom and Douglas Luis.

Brazil’s full squad for the Tokyo 2020 football tournament:

Santos (Athletico Paranaense), Brenno (Gremio)

Daniel Alves (Sao Paulo), Gabriel Menino (Palmeiras), Guilherme Arana (Atlético Mineiro), Nino (Fluminense), Gabriel Magalhães (Arsenal), Diego Carlos (Sevilla)

Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), B. Guimarães (Olympic Lyon), Matheus Henrique (Gremio), Gerson (Flamengo), Claudinho (Red Bull Bragantino)

Malcom (FC Zenit), Antony (Ajax), Paulinho (Bayer Leverkusen), Matheus Cunha (Hertha BSC), Pedro (Flamengo)

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