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How they got here
Blitzed the field at the 2011 South American U-20 Championships, including a 6-0 victory over Uruguay in the final.
As often as it's repeated, it's still difficult to comprehend how Brazil has not claimed a gold medal at the Olympics in this sport—a confounding national dilemma for the five-time World Cup and eight-time Copa America winners. At the junior level, the U-20 teams have claimed another five world titles and 11 South American crowns.
Silver medal (1984, 1988)
You've probably heard of him
Neymar. He's the undisputed superstar of this tournament, as Lionel Messi was for Argentina four years ago in Beijing. The Santos starlet is often put into the same "best active player" conversation as Messi and has drawn equally lofty comparisons to some of Brazil's all-time greats.
Absent from Brazil's 2010 World Cup squad and disappointed by the early exit from the last Copa America, Neymar will lead a new, talent-rich class of Brazilians on a gold-medal chase this summer and into a home World Cup in two years' time.
No country comes close to the talent level of this Brazilian squad. No nation knows the pressure A Seleção faces. And no team has focused as much on obtaining gold in this tournament.
This squad list is replete with full internationals and legitimate stars such as Alexandre Pato, Leandro Damiao, Ganso, Lucas, Hulk and Thiago Silva. Rafael, the first-choice junior keeper, was just ruled out of the Olympics with an elbow injury, a blow to the team but not their chances.
Anything short of the gold-medal game and Projeto Londres would be considered a failure.