Neymar, Hulk, Pato named in Brazil's Olympic squad

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Strong Brazilian squad for London 2012
London, Jul 15: Brazil have put forward a strong squad for this summer's Olympic games in London. Forwards Hulk, Alexandre Pato and Neymar have been included in the 21-man squad managed by coach Mano Menezes.

The 25-year old Porto star, Hulk is one the three over-aged players with Real Madrid left-back Marcelo and Paris Saint-Germain new signing Thiago Silva.

Santos star Neymar has scored nine goals in 18 appearnaces for the senior team while AC Milan forward Pato and Hulk have also impressed in recent times.

Tottenham's defensive midfielder Sandro and Manchester United right-back Rafael have also been selected for the Olympic games by coach Menezes.

Hulk, who has been in prolific form with Portuguese champions Porto, has scored thrice for the national side since his debut in 2009 while coach Menezes hoped the strikers experience would help Brazil at the London games.

"He brings a lot of strength to the team. His experience will be important in big matches, as well as his great ability to be decisive, Menezes said.

In a bid to clinch their first ever Olympic title, Menezes has opted for the Brazil's best young talents. However, former AC Milan defender Thaigo Silva, who was signed by PSG for £30 million on Saturday, was preferred over Chelsea defender David Luiz.

Brazil lost 2-0 against Mexico and Argentina too beat their bitter rivals 4-3, but coach Menezes feels such problems won't repeat at the London games.

"I don't think the issues that arose against Argentina will be repeated with such frequency as they did in that game, because Messi won't be at the Olympics," he said.

"We won't face a player who picks up the ball in midfield and destroys defensive systems individually and finishes in the way he does."

Brazil are favourites in Group C against Egypt, Belarus and New Zealand while they play a final warm-up game against Team Great Britain at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium on July 20.

Brazil squad for London Olympics 2012:

Goalkeepers: Rafael Cabral (Santos), Neto (Fiorentina).

Defenders: Marcelo (Real Madrid), Rafael (Manchester United), Danilo (Porto), Alex Sandro (Porto), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), Juan (Inter Milan), Bruno Uvini (Sao Paulo).

Midfielders: Romulo (Vasco da Gama), Ganso (Santos), Oscar (Internacional), Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur), Lucas (Sao Paulo).

Forwards: Neymar (Santos), Alexandre Pato (AC Milan), Leandro Damiao (Internacional), Hulk (Porto).

Replacements: Marquinhos (Corinthians), Giuliano (Dniepr), Cassemiro (Sao Paulo), Gabriel (AC Milan).

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