• London 2012

Neymar saddened by Beckham's Olympic snub

ESPN staff
July 19, 2012 « Villas-Boas: Modric can leave for the right price | Chartbeat test »

Brazil star Neymar has expressed his sadness that David Beckham will not be competing at the London 2012 Olympics.

Neymar, who is in England preparing for the Games, says he had hoped a line up opposite Beckham to one day tell his children of the experience. However, the Santos striker believes Beckham's absence will also benefit Brazil as they aim to win their first gold medal in men's football.

"When Beckham was not selected I was a little happy and a little sad," Neymar told the Telegraph newspaper. "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 face Egypt before taking on Great Britain at the Olympics, and while Neymar admits he knows little of Egyptian football, he insists nothing less than success will be tolerated by the Brazilian public.

"There is a great expectation at home for us to win the gold medal," he said. "It is very important because we have never won Olympic gold before so now we have a chance to make history.

"I don't know much about [Egypt] because I have never played against them, but some of my team-mates have, and they say Egypt have lots of quality.

"But our coach Mano Menezes will give us all the information we need about it and I am sure we will have a good match. Winning this tournament would show that we are on the right track for winning the 2014 World Cup."

Meanwhile, Neymar has backed team-mate Oscar - who has been linked with a £25 million move to Chelsea - to star should he move to England this summer.

"He is one of the most intelligent players I have played with," he said. "He has everything to be a big success."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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