By Andrew Downie
RIO DE JANEIRO – Hosts Brazil were pitted against South Africa, Iraq and Denmark when the draw for the Olympic soccer tournament was made on Thursday.
Brazil, who have been world champions at every level bar the Olympics, begin their campaign against South Africa in Brasilia, one of six host cities for the competition.
“All the teams will find it difficult but we are very confident and hope Brazil can win the gold medal,” said former Barcelona forward Ronaldinho after helping with the draw.
Three players over the age of 23 are permitted to take part for each team and Brazil are in talks with Barcelona to free striker Neymar.
Holders Mexico were drawn with Germany, Fiji and South Korea.
In the women’s tournament, Brazil will face Sweden, China and South Africa.
United States, who have won four of the five Olympic titles, were drawn to face France, New Zealand and Colombia. (Reuters)