A Verdeamarela have been ever-present at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament (WOFT) and only failed to reach the semi-finals last time out, at London 2012, when Japan ended their hopes in the quarter-finals. Invited to take part at the inaugural edition at Atlanta 1996, they sealed a respectable fourth spot, an achievement they matched once more four years later in Sydney. Then would come Brazil’s best performances in the WOFT, when claiming silver medals at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, following final defeats on both occasions to USA.
The road to Rio
Although Brazil qualified automatically for Rio de Janeiro 2016 as host nation, the team still took part in the 2014 Copa America Femenina – which doubled as a qualifying competition to find South America’s other Olympic representative. At the tournament played in Ecuador in September of 2014, Brazil clinched top spot in their section and their place in the four-team final round thanks to victories over Bolivia, Paraguay and Chile, before ending their group campaign with a reverse against Argentina. Come the decisive final round, the Brazilians swept past La Albiceleste and Ecuador before claiming the point they needed against Colombia to secure continental honours.
With over 20 years’ experience in the men’s game, at clubs such as Vitoria, Sao Caetano, Goias and Ponte Preta, Oswaldo Alvarez was handed the reins of Brazil’s senior women’s national team back in April 2014. Now 58 and arguably best known for his role in furthering the careers of Rivaldo and Kaka, ‘Vadão’ has now been tasked with boosting the development of the women’s discipline – ensuring Brazil challenge the elite at both the FIFA Women’s World Cup™and the Olympics.
Facts and figures
- Former stars: Sissi, Pretinha, Maycon
- Key players: Marta, Andreia Suntaque, Cristiane, Formiga
- The stat: A Seleção have helped themselves to six out of a possible seven triumphs at the Copa America Femenina, with only the 2006 edition going Argentina's way instead.