A day after Brazil lost the
Olympic football final to Mexico, the country's footballing
authorities took the unusual step of singling out full-back
Rafael for his part in the defeat.
A loose pass from the Manchester United defender led to
Mexico's first goal after just 29 seconds. Brazil struggled to
bounce back from the early blow and conceded a second goal in 74
Porto striker Hulk pulled one back in injury time but it
was not enough for Brazil who have won the World Cup five times
but never the Olympic gold.
The Brazilian Football Confederation on Sunday singled out
21-year old Rafael for criticism on its website, saying:
"Right-back Rafael knows he made a mistake that led to the
first Mexican goal in the Olympic football final in the London
"There's no denying it. Nevertheless, with his skill and
determination, the young No. 2 can't be tainted by the error.
"Mistakes are for correcting. Rafael knows that. Later,
when things have calmed down, he will surely look at the move
and learn from it. At the end of the day, as the saying goes, to
err is human and we learn from our mistakes."
The criticism from officials contrasts with that of players
and coaches, most of whom defended the youngster.
Coach Mano Menezes pointed out that Brazil had 89 minutes
to level the match and could not, while forward Neymar said
every player, including himself, shared responsibility for the
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