Olympic hoodoo still haunts hosts Brazil

Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:13pm EDT
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By Andrew Downie

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Soccer fans of a certain age will always remember Falcao at the World Cup in 1982 and his starring role alongside Zico, Socrates and Cerezo in one of the greatest Brazil sides of all time.

Their heartbreaking 3-2 defeat by Italy in the second group stage that cost them a semi-final spot was unforgettable and the tournament etched Falcao's name in the history books.

But when he looks back on the great moments of his career, another less heralded occasion still warms his heart.

The 1972 Munich Olympics was a disappointment for Brazil's players but losses to Denmark and Iran, sandwiching a draw against Hungary, tell only half the story.

The Olympics, Falcao told Reuters, was something special.

"It was a unique moment," he said in a telephone interview earlier this month just before returning for a third stint as manager of Internacional where he started his playing career.

"The Olympics is grander than the World Cup because you are alongside the greatest athletes of all the world's sports. In football, it's just footballers.

"Even though football usually gets all the headlines the Olympics is unique because of that rubbing of shoulders in the Olympic village.   Continued...

Football Soccer - Brazil training session - 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers matches- Teresopolis, Brazil- 22/3/16- Neymar (C) during a training session prior to 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers match against Uruguay at CBF training center. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes