Neymar the Hero as Brazil Claim Historic Olympic Gold
Brazil poster boy Neymar scored the winning penalty as the hosts claimed a first ever Olympic football gold medal on Saturday.
Olympic gold was the only major title to have escaped five-time world champions Brazil in their proud history, and Neymar, 24, fired past Timo Horn to give the Selecao a 5-4 victory and spark wild scenes at a packed Maracana.
It was also sweet revenge for the hosts following Germany’s 7-1 World Cup semifinal hammering two years ago that cost Brazilian football its pride.
“This is one of the best things that has happened in my life,” said Neymar, before surprisingly stepping down as captain of the national side.
“It was an honour to be captain, but from today I am no longer captain,” he told SporTV.
The Barcelona superstar opened the scoring with a brilliant free-kick in front of the biggest crowd of Rio’s Games, and in honour of retiring spring king Usain Bolt, he adopted the “lightning bolt” celebration, to jubilant chants of “ole, ole, ole, Neymar”.
But Germany captain Max Meyer levelled 13 minutes after the break and celebrated by taunting the raucous crowd at the Maracana by kissing the No 7 on his shirt.
After the first eight penalties in the shootout were all successful, Nils Petersen saw his spot kick saved by Weverton leaving Neymar to sweep home to throw the country into raptures.
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