The Panenka

A blog dedicated to European Football, World Soccer, and the 2018 World Cup in Russia

Men’s Olympic Football Gold Medal Match Preview: Brazil vs Germany

On Saturday August 20th at 17:30 local time hosts Brazil take on Germany in Rio 2016’s gold medal match at Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil will be looking to exorcise the demons of their scarring 7-1 defeat to Germany in the 2014 World Cup semi-final on home soil. Germany meanwhile are looking to blood a new generation of technically gifted youngsters and become the first ever nation to win back to back men’s World Cup and Olympic tournaments. Brazil did however defeat Germany 2-0 in the 2002 World Cup final, a memory which will still live in the mind of many Germans.

Germany have never won a gold medal as a unified nation but athletes from East and West Germany did compete together under one flag in Tokyo in 1964 where they won bronze.

East Germany did win the tournament in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal as well as silver in 1980 in Moscow and bronze in 1972 in Munich. West Germany also won bronze at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Despite holding the record for the most World Cup’s (five) Brazil have never won the Olympic Football tournament. The closest they have come saw Selecao claim silver at each of the 1984 Los Angeles games, the 1988 Seoul tournament and London 2012. They also claimed bronze in 1996 in Atlanta and 2008 Beijing.


It is unusual to see such a huge amount of pressure poured upon an Olympic football squad but Brazil have had the weight of expectation from the whole of Brazil to live up to. They may have stuttered at first in Group A but on their way to the final they appear to have hit their stride.

The promise of glory from the host nation appeared to be justified too as they named a squad boasting some of the brightest talents in the country, including captain and Barcelona superstar Neymar.

In their opening two games they were held to a stalemate by both South Africa and Iraq drawing disenchantment from the stands. Some fans decided to trade in their support to the women’s side, altering their No. 10 jerseys from Neymar to Marta.

These doubters have been unquestionably silenced since however. A 4-0 drubbing of Denmark secured top spot in the group and a convincing yet heated 2-0 win over South American contenders Colombia put the hosts into the semi-final against Honduras.

In the final four Selecao made light work of dispatching Los Catrachos, Neymar opening the scoring after 17 seconds to record he fastest ever goal at an Olympic tournament when he pounced on a back pass before Manchester City acquisition Gabriel Jesus added two more before the break.

In the second half Marquinhos added the fourth before Luan converted after a flowing move which scythed to a demoralized Honduran defense. Neymar capped off the victory to make it six with a penalty in stoppage time.

Route To The Final

Brazil 0 – 0 South Africa

Brazil 0 – 0 Iraq

Denmark 0 – 4 Brazil

  • Gabriel 26’
  • Gabriel Jesus 40’ 
  • Luan 50’ 
  • Gabriel 80’

Brazil 2 – 0 Colombia

  • Neymar 12’
  • Luan 83’

Honduras 0 – 6 Brazil

  • Neymar 1’
  • Gabriel Jesus 26’
  • Gabriel Jesus 35’
  • Marquinhos 51’
  • Luan 79’
  • Neymar (pen) 91’

Predicted Line-Up: Waverton, Zeca, Marquinhos, R. Caio, D. Santos, R. Augusto, Wallace, Neymar, G. Jesus, Luan, G. Barbosa.

Brazil are yet to conceded at the Olympics and their back four have been impressive. Led by Paris Saint-Germain center-back Marquinhos Selecao’s back line has promoted Rodrigo Caio to one of the best young defenders in the business.

Renato Augusto and Wallace anchor a midfield which doesn’t skimp on attacking flair in a formation which often morphs into an 4-2-4 where each of Neymar, Luan, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Barbosa shuffle between left, right, deep and up top.

Top Scorers

  1. Luan, Gabriel Jesus – 3 goals.
  2. Gabriel Barbosa, Neymar – 2 goals.
  3. Marquinhos – 1 goal.


Germany faced elimination at the group stages but thanks to a gaol glut against Fiji and South Korea defeating London 2012 gold medalists Mexico Die Mannschaft were able to reach the knockout stage with second spot in Group C.

In  difficult group Germany showed the spirit, grit and determination needed to comeback from behind twice against both Mexico and South Korea as they underwhelmingly recorded draws in their opening two games.

In the quarter-finals against Portugal the Germans brushed aside the Euro 2016 champions. Winger Serge Gnabry gave his side the lead with a strike just before half-time before goals from Ginter, Selke and Max secured a safe passage to the semi-finals against Nigeria.

Germany were dominant over the 1996 gold medalists in the semi-final where they led 1-0 at the break thanks to RB Leipzig’s Lukas Klostermann who tapped home after Max Meyer beat the offside trap to provide the perfect cut back. In the second half Nigeria threatened to score an equalizer through a number of Jon Obi Mikel led attacks. As Germany clung on they put the game beyond doubt though Nils Petersen who had been introduced from the bench moments before.

Route To The Final

Germany 2 – 2 Mexico

  • Peralta 52’
  • Gnabry 58’ 
  • R. Pizarro 61’
  • Ginter 78’

Germany 3 – 3 Korea Republic

  • Hee-Chan Hwang 25’
  • Gnabry 33’
  • Selke 55’
  • Heung-Min Son 57’
  • Hyun-Jun Suk 86’
  • Gnabry 90’

Germany 10 – 0 Fiji

  • Gnabry 8’
  • Petersen 14’
  • Meyer 30’
  • Petersen 33’
  • Petersen 40’
  • Gnabry 45’
  • Meyer 49’
  • Meyer 52’
  • Petersen (pen) 63’
  • Petersen 70’

Portugal 0 – 4 Germany

  • Gnabry 45’
  • Ginter 57’
  • Selke 75’
  • Max 87’

Nigeria 0 – 1 Germany

  • Klostermann 9’

Predicted Line-Up: Horn, Toljan, Sule, Ginter, Klostermann, S. Bender, L. Bender, Meyer, Gnabry, Brandt, Selke.

After the lackluster 2-2 draw versus Mexico in the opening game Germany coach Horst Hrubesch made the only change to his starting line up for the following game against South Korea, replacing Leon Goretzka with Serge Gnabry.

The Arsenal winger provides width and pace to the attack along side captain Max Meyer an Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt who support striker Davie Selke. Brothers Lars and Sven Bender compliment the midfield with combative steel and a penchant for possession based play.

Timo Horn’s goal is protected by Matthias Ginter, who is quickly becoming in-demand from Europe’s elite, and  Niklas Sule of Hoffenheim. Attacking full-backs Lukas Klostermann and Jeremy Toljan complete the starting eleven.

Top Scorers

  1. Gnabry, Petersen – 6 goals.
  2. Meyer – 3 goals.
  3. Ginter, Selke – 2 goals.
  4. Max – 1 goal.

1 Comment

  1. The following time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I mean, I do know it was my choice to learn, but I actually thought youd have something attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you might fix for those who werent too busy in search of attention.

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