Olympic Soccer 2012: Ranking Likely Threats to Brazil for the Gold Medal
Brazil are the clear gold-medal favorites at the 2012 Olympics following the shock elimination of Spain in the group stages of the competition.
Led by the hottest youngster in world football, Neymar, and a host of brilliant players, Brazil are well on course to claim their first Olympic gold medal in soccer.
If they were to be beaten, who would be the most likely team to topple them? Read on to see which nations are the biggest threat to Brazil claiming the gold medal for soccer at the London Olympics.
5. Great Britain
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Currently sitting atop Group A with one match still to play, it's tough to count out Stuart Pearce's men from making a medal challenge—especially with the home crowd behind them.
Their match against Uruguay is shaping as one of the most important fixtures of the tournament, with the loser likely to miss out on qualification to the knockout stages—hence why Team GB don't find themselves closer to the top.
But with Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Jack Butland all in fine form, who knows what the home side are capable of producing?
4. South Korea
Photo via AP.
South Korea entered the Olympics as a potential underdog for me, and with a strong performance against Gabon, they could find themselves sitting atop Group B heading into the knockout stages.
They'll then play the runner-up of the surprisingly strong Group A, which could turn out to be difficult, but should they get through that match, they'll be in with a real chance at the gold medal.
South Korea handled Mexico's attack with relative ease; who knows what we can expect from them throughout the tournament?
They're still a real dark horse in my book.
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Anybody that had Senegal as a top-three team to topple Brazil heading into the knockout stages of the tournament would have been laughed at and dismissed quickly.
Oh, how the tide has turned.
The African nation were ultra-impressive in their 2-0 defeat of the highly-favored Uruguay with just 10 men. They are in a strong position to qualify through to the knockout stages of the 2012 London Olympics.
Hard to count them out from being competitive in the final stages of the tournament.
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Uruguay should beat Great Britain and therefore qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament. Once there, expect the likes of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani to truly get going and cause all sorts of problems for their opponents.
The attack of the South Americans is just too strong to count out, and for me, they are the team from the top half of the draw most likely to challenge Brazil.
Anything less than a medal would be considered a poor result for Uruguay, given the results that have already taken place, but as we've seen so far in the 2012 London Olympics, anything is possible.
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The team most likely to prevent Brazil from winning the gold medal at the Olympic Games is Japan, who look set to qualify from Group D in first position.
That means they won't meet the South Americans until the semifinals, and if their attack can get going in the same way it did against Spain, they should create enough chances to trouble the Brazilians.
Brazil's defense hasn't been incredibly strong so far these Olympics, and Japan possess the attacking ability needed to clinch victory over the favorites.
Having said that, I can't see anybody beating Brazil at these Games. The gold medal is theirs for the taking, and they should pick up their first OIympic soccer title in the nation's illustrious history.
Should, being the operative word.
Will Brazil win gold at the 2012 London Olympics?
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