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Brazil taps favorites for Olympic over-age soccer players, report says

Dunga, Neymar

SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 14: Brazil head coach Dunga instructs to Neymar during the international friendly match between Japan and Brazil at the National Stadium on October 14, 2014 in Singapore. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)

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Barcelona striker Neymar is one of the favorites to be an over-age selection for Brazil’s Olympic soccer team, according to Universo Online, citing the Brazilian soccer federation and Olympic and national team coach Dunga.

Neymar, Inter Milan defender Miranda and Internacional goalkeeper Alisson are the favorites to take up the maximum of three over-age spots on the Rio 2016 roster, according to the report. Brazilian soccer federation officials didn’t respond to an email Tuesday seeking confirmation.

All but three players on the Olympic team must be born on or after Jan. 1, 1993.

Miranda, 31, and Alisson, 23, have no World Cup experience.

Any over-age player must be released by his club team to be eligible for the Olympics, but with Brazil hosting the Games and seeking its first Olympic soccer title, that seems likely.

Neymar has repeatedly expressed interest in playing at the Rio Games.

Some nations take greater advantage of the Olympic rule that allows three over-age players more than others.

In 2012, Brazil used its exceptions on three exceptional players — Hulk, Marcelo and Thiago Silva — who started for Brazil in the 2014 World Cup.

Brazil, which has won five World Cups, took Olympic silver in 1984, 1988 and 2012 and bronze in 1996 and 2008.

Neymar, then 20, was part of the 2012 Olympic team that lost to Mexico in the final.

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