Brazilian footballer Diego chases Olympic dream in China

الأحد، 03 أغسطس 2008 - 19:26

كتب : وكالات

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SHENYANG, northeast China, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian Werder Bremen's attacking midfielder Diego said here on Sunday that he opts to join the Brazilian squad to fulfill an Olympic dream.

"I am chasing an Olympic dream because Brazil has never won a gold medal in the tournament," the 23-year-old player playing for German Bundesliga giant Werder Bremen said after the star-dubbed team finished the first training session in Shenyang, northeast China.

Diego, as well as Rafinha of Schalke 04, snubbed their German clubs pre-season plans to join the training and warm-up matches in Singapore, because the Olympic fixtures clash with the preliminary round of UEFA Champions League.

"It is huge pleasure to take part in this game," said Diego. "It was good to join the pre-Olympics training, as the expertise and experience are very important for us."

In two tune-up matches, Brazil beat Singapore 3-0 and Vietnam 2-0.

Brazil have won the FIFA World Cup a record five times but have come up short at the Olympics, finishing with a silver medal in the1984 and 1988 Games, and bronze in 1996.

After failing to qualify the 2004 Athens Games, coach Dunga's side is determined to bring an Olympic crown home from Beijing.

"It was a hard moment for us after failing to qualify in 2004. Today I am here. I feel very privileged. It's a very good learning process in preparation. It's really nice that everybody gets together."

"I am expecting a gold medal but all the other teams are very strong and there is no easy game," said Diego, adding that Argentina and Italy are the most difficult opponents to play.

"You can reach 100 percent ready physically but it's very hard to be perfect for the games. So you should always stay a step ahead," he said.

Brazil, grouped with host China, Belgium and New Zealand, will play against Belgium in their first game at the Olympics on Aug.7. It would be a manageable task to reach the knockout stage as the top of the group.

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