Saturday, February 24, 2024

Marquinhos heads to Rio after Argentina pip Brazil to Olympic spot

Marquinhos’ dream of playing in the Olympics is over after reigning champions Brazil fluffed their lines in the CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament.

10 teams were competing in Venezuela for South America’s two places at Paris 2024 and while Brazil topped the opening group stage with three wins from four games, they struggled in the second group phase against higher-calibre opposition.

After losing to Paraguay, Brazil beat hosts Venezuela with a late goal to set up a must-win clash with Javier Mascherano’s Argentina. Luciano Gondou’s header was enough to separate the sides as Argentina condemned their neighbours to a third-place finish.

Marquinhos came off the bench to replace Real Madrid’s Endrick in the 73rd minute. Five minutes later, Argentina netted their winner. In total, he played 173 minutes across six appearances in the tournament.

Having won gold at the last two Olympics, you suspect the failure to qualify this time around will cut deep for Brazil.

Rather than return to London, Marquinhos is expected to fly back to his homeland to sign a loan deal with Fluminense. The transfer window in Brazil remains open until 7 March.

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Magneto

I wonder how our scouts got on in monitoring Equi Fernandez…their report to Edu will no doubt make an interesting read.

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