RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Brazilian soccer icons Neymar and Ganso recently unveiled the jerseys the Brazilian national team will wear in the 2012 London Olympics and the senior national squad will don for the next year.
Neymar wore the team’s yellow jersey, which has a green stripe on the sleeves and the national team emblem on the left breast that’s topped by five stars – one for each of the country’s World Cup titles.
Ganso wore the team’s dark blue jersey that has a yellow stripe on the sleeve and displays the identical emblem on the left breast.
“I think the uniform is beautiful, it is more traditional. I am a big fan of the more traditional look,” coach Mano Menezes told reporters at the unveiling.
Neymar and Ganso will headline the squad that will arrive in England seeking to win Brazil’s first gold medal. Brazil won bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympics after claiming silver in 1984 in Los Angeles, Calif., and in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea.
Menezes said the Olympic team will likely hold training camp in Rio de Janeiro but a time and venue have not been set.
“The most likely scenario will be to play two or three matches with just the Olympic squad. The rest of the work will be carried out together with our senior squad,” he said.
Carlos Tevez to Argentina’s Boca Juniors?
Carlos Tevez attended Martín Palermo’s farewell game in the nation’s capital, but the star forward didn’t play, simply waved to the fans at Bombonera stadium.
The fans welcomed the return of one of the stars of the Argentine national team with open arms, chanting, “Leave the English and come back here,” referring to Tevez’s tenuous standing with British club Manchester City.
Palermo, a former legendary striker for Boca Juniors and member of the Argentine national team, announced his retirement this past June at age 38. Palermo’s goal against Greece in the 2010 World Cup made him the oldest Argentine to score a World Cup goal.
Tevez has stated his desire to play for Boca Juniors – one of the top club teams in Argentina – and team President Daniel Angelici has said he’s open to the idea, provided Tevez is fit to play.
“If Tevez arrives for free then we would be happy to have him,” Angelici told Todo Noticias. “If Manchester City calls us and says it needs him to play games, our doors are always open.”
Manchester City found Tevez in violation of five breaches of contract for disobeying coach Roberto Mancini’s order by refusing to play during a 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich in September, fining him US$1.6 million.
The team immediately suspended Tevez for two weeks, and Mancini said the Argentine would not play for the club again.
But the club may have changed its mind, as Tevez was listed on the team’s 25-man roster for the Barclays Premier League.
“If he comes back – and he is fit – it is possible [he’ll play],” Mancini said. “Carlos is not an option at the moment but it is possible in the future if he comes back. I hope for him he has been training in the last three months to help his condition. There is only one thing on my mind, the Barclays Premier League.”
Higuaín won’t leave Real Madrid until team win Champions League
Argentine Gonzalo Higuaín has a message for English club Chelsea: I’m not leaving Real Madrid until it wins a Champions League title.
The forward, who is battling Karim Benzema for a starting spot, won’t entertain offers to leave the Spanish powerhouse until it wins club soccer’s biggest tournament.
“Until we win the Champions League, we will not move to another team,” Jorge Higuaín, Gonzalo’s father and agent, told reporters.
Higuaín, 24, has scored 14 goals in 19 games for Real Madrid, which is atop the La Liga standings.
However, Higuaín said he would listen to offers if Real Madrid signed Serio Agüero, but that’s unlikely considering Agüero is having a terrific year for Manchester City, which is in first place in England’s Barclays Premier League.
“If they bring Agüero in then we will start to listen to offers,” Jorge told reporters.
Ganso committed to Brazil’s Santos
Brazilian midfielder Ganso said he’s committed to Santos after Portuguese squad Porto reportedly was going to offer him an €8 million (US$10.5 million) deal to leave the São Paulo state-based team.
“I have a contract with Santos until 2015, whether I leave the club before that is up to God,” Ganso, 22, said at a recent media conference. “Regardless of that, I am happy here and I continue to work. I will say again that I am very happy playing for Santos. I hope that this soap opera [about renewal] will end soon, I want to stay here.”
Ganso said he’s had opportunities to leave Santos several times.
“I have had offers from Porto, Corinthians and several other clubs. If I wanted to leave, I would have done it by now,” he told reporters.
Santos President Luis Alvaro Ribeiro said the club could sell Ganso’s rights – at a price of €50 million (US$65.8 million) – to another team.