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Neymar: Beckham should have been selected
BRAZILIAN strike sensation Neymar claims his side's prospects in tonight's Olympic warm-up game have been enhanced by Stuart Pearce's refusal to select David Beckham for Team GB.
Brazil take on Great Britain at the Riverside as both sides complete their preparations for the men's Olympic football tournament, which begins next Thursday.
Earlier in the year, it had been expected that Beckham would be leading Team GB, but Pearce instead opted to name Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards as his over-age players, something Neymar feels has played into Brazilian hands.
"When Beckham was not selected, I was a little happy and a little sad," said the Santos striker, who is expected to play on the left of a three-pronged Brazil attack this evening. "I was happy because he will not be competing against us so it is a little less complicated for us.
"But I was sad because he is a great player, so I would have liked to have played against him one time. It would have been something I could have told my children."
Brazil will kick off the Olympic football tournament as favourites to win the gold medal, the one major prize in the world game that has eluded them in the past.
South American rivals Argentina and Uruguay have both claimed Olympic titles, and there is huge pressure on the current Brazil squad to create history this month.
"There is a great expectation at home for us to win the gold medal," said Neymar. "It is very important because we have never won Olympic gold before so now we have a chance to make history.
"And winning this tournament would show that we are on the right track for winning the 2014 World Cup (in Brazil)."