Neymar inspires Brazil to historic Olympic football gold


Brazil have won the gold medal for men’s football at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio, with national hero Neymar scoring the winning penalty.

The game at the Maracana stadium – which evoked memories of the remarkable 2014 World Cup semi-final in Belo Horizonte, where Germany beat Brazil 7-1 – was a truly cagey affair from start to finish.

Barcelona star Neymar gave the hosts the lead in the 26th minute with a sublime free-kick from distance before Schalke forward Max Meyer drew level in the second half.

Both teams had their chances to win the game in normal time, but neither were able to score a decisive goal and therefore the match went to a penalty shootout after extra time.

Both countries scored their first four penalties before Nils Petersen of SC Freiburg missed, allowing captain Neymar the chance to score the winner, which he confidently stroked home.

The 24-year-old immediately burst into tears on the pitch as Brazil won their first ever Olympic gold medal in the men’s football event.