As strange as it sounds, Brazil has never won a gold medal in soccer in the Olympic Games. The country who's won five World Cups has failed to win a gold, but the 2012 Olympics will change all of that.
As Brazil prepares for its meeting with Mexico on Friday, we will see two international powerhouses clash. However, thanks to the U23 rule in Olympic soccer, we will only see bits and pieces of each country's best teams.
Perhaps it is that rule that has held the Brazilians back from winning the gold medal thus far, but we'll all be singing a new song come Saturday morning.
Brazil waltzed through the first stage, being the only team to win all three games in Group play. They then knocked off Honduras 3-2 in the quarterfinals before playing Korea in the semis.
The Brazilians struggled in the beginning of their semifinals matchup with South Korea. However, once they got over their pregame jitters, they settled down and started playing well.
The end result was a 3-0 rout of South Korea.
While the slow start was a bit of a concern, I doubt very much that it will hurt them in the finals. They are sure to be nervous again, but so will Mexico.
The Mexicans got off to a shaky start against Japan as well, and needed a come-from-behind victory to advance.
When the game was tied 1-1, Japan had an awful clearance that set up Oribe Peralta to net the go-ahead goal. That ended up lifting Mexico to a 3-1 victory, but it wasn't exactly an impeccable performance by the Mexicans.
When these two teams meet up, I expect some sloppy play in the beginning again. Both teams are young and will surely be nervous before the gold medal match. However, both teams will settle in before the first goal is scored, and we will see a game that must be won on pure skill.
Put in simple terms, Brazil has consistently been finishing on their chances, thanks in large part to Neymar, who has been phenomenal.
While Mexico has proven that they know how to win matches, they will need more than that on this day. Even with Giovanni Dos Santos playing well on the pitch and Jose Corona in goal, this team won't be able to keep the Brazilians from getting chances—and Brazil knows how to finish.
This is going to be an exciting match, but Brazil will come out on top. After winning two silvers and two bronzes in Olympic, play they will finally have their gold.