As every athletic soul in the world awaits the Rio Olympics trumpet to be blown in jubilation for the long awaited championship, the hopes of the Brazil soccer team to clinch their first ever-gold medal in the Olympics dimmed on Sunday. The No. 1 goalkeeper choice, Fernando Prass, sustained an injury on his right elbow to rule him out of the Olympics. His fate to play in the squad spelled doom not only for him, but also for the entire soccer team and their national fans. Brazil’s online sportsbook soccer odds slightly dropped immediately the Brazilian soccer confederation announced Prass’ exclusion from the squad due to a fractured elbow.
Rogerio Micale, the soccer head coach, immediately made a swift move to replace the injured goalkeeper with Weverton, the 28-year-old goalkeeper playing for the domestic club, Atletico Paranaense. After succumbing to his elbow injury on Monday last week, Prass was unable to attend a few training sessions. Many people expected him to join the squad in their Saturday friendly matchup against Japan because he showed signs of fast recovery. However, medical tests ruled out his presence injuring his elbow again while warming up before the game.
The 38-year-old Prass plays for Palmerias and he was one of the few selected players who have surpassed the age of 23, including midfielder Renato Augusto, and the Barcelona forward Neymar. Coach Micale gave Neymar the leadership role to lead his teammates to victory at the Rio Games as the captain. His leadership in such a major tournament comes after he missed the preliminary stages of the 2014 World Cup in their home tuff due to a back injury.
When it comes to the case of Prass, this was the first time he was going to play for the national side. As soon as he acknowledged the results of the medical tests performed on Sunday, Prass expressed that his dream and hard work to play for the national team has unfortunately faded. However, his strong will came out by saying that he will eventually recuperate and return to play even better and stronger for his club and national team.
The Brazilian soccer national team are currently under intense pressure to win the Olympics championship before their patient home fans even after a dismal performance two years ago in the World Cup. The five-time World Champions only have the Olympic gold medal missing in their list of achievements when it comes to soccer.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper, Uilson, came on as a substitute for Prass in their Saturday 2-nil victory over Japan. Ulson is a reserve goalkeeper at Atletico Mineiro, but the head coach will likely play Weverton as a starter in the Rio Olympics because of his profound experience. However, Micale did not include Weverton in the preliminary merit list referred to FIFA. He had initially selected Bahia’s Jean, Vasco da Gama’s Jordi, and Roma’s Alisson as the goalkeepers.
Brazil soccer team are three-time Olympic silver medalists, including the 2012 Olympics in London in which they painfully lost to Mexico with Neymar wearing the captain band. They have also clinched bronze twice. Brazil plays South Africa in their opening match on Thursday in Brasilia. Group A also includes Denmark and Iraq, with 12 other national teams in other groups fighting for the first two spots to reach the quarterfinals.