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Men's soccer preview: Olympic bronze to be decided by wills
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08:39, August 22, 2008

If the star-studded Brazil come up with strong wills, which were absent from their semifinal against Argentina, they have great chance to beat Belgium to take the bronze of the Beijing Olympic soccer tournament on Friday.

Though a football bronze is way short of Brazil's expectation and usually of little interest both from the players and spectators, after losing the hope for their first Olympic gold, the five-time FIFA World Cup champion Brazil will have to settle for a third place so as to partly retrieve their prestige.

"It's not easy to find the motivation for our final game, but we have to because it's worth an Olympic medal, "said Ronaldinho after their 3-0 defeat to arch-rivals Argentina in Tuesday's semi-finals.

Brazil's president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reportedly launched a rage over the failure, and coach Carlos Dunga was exposed to calls for dismissal from local media.

Despite their ever worst performance at the Beijing Games, Brazil has no choice but to re-collect themselves out of the tight corner with a nice triumph over Belgium.

"I'm going to continue my work and I'll stick to my convictions, " said Dunga. "We were working towards winning the gold medal but sometimes things just don't work out. All we can do is keep believing in ourselves."

However, despite their loss to Brazil in the group match, Belgium still hold beliefs in their guts and capabilities to overcome the South Africans.

"I would have much rather been playing a team who win, but we've already played Brazil, so I'm quite pleased we're playing them again.," said Belgium coach Jean Francois de Sart. "Brazil couldn't find a way through against our defensive system and there were periods of the game that I thought we were better than them."

As a surprise qualifier to Beijing Games, Belgium did show both their defensive and offensive competence in their group and quarter- final matches. Similarly downcast by humiliating semi-final results, both Belgium and Brazil will be keen to grab their last chance.

Football legend Pele had criticized Brazil for their lack of good preparation. "Brazil has to work hard to form a team because nothing will happen with just big names. A team has to be prepared. If the players don't know that it will be difficult to form a team. "

If well-prepared as Pele called on, Brazil stands greater chances to win a bronze medal, and the upcoming match will be hopefully as intriguing as the gold-battling one between Argentina and Nigeria in Saturday's final.


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