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Rio 2016: Neymar revels in gold medal

Brazil star Neymar labelled winning Olympic gold as one of the “best things” of his life as he hit back at critics following Saturday’s dramatic win over Germany.

The Barcelona forward struck with a free-kick in the 1-1 draw, before emphatically sealing Brazil’s first Olympic football gold with the winning penalty in a 5-4 shoot-out victory.

Neymar said it was an unforgettable moment after sending the Maracana into raptures on Saturday.

“This is one of the best things that have happened in my life. That’s it,” he said.

“Now they [critics] will have to swallow me [be quiet].

“I can’t begin to describe [my feelings]. I have fulfilled my dream and to have fulfilled it in my home country makes me very proud.”

All the talk in the lead up was about the 2014 World Cup semi-final, in which Germany humiliated a Brazil side missing the injured Neymar 7-1 in Belo Horizonte.

Goalkeeper Weverton was full of praise for Neymar, saying: “God has blessed me. The gold is ours, but it belongs to God.

“I told Neymar that God had given him a second chance. God loves Neymar like he loves all this team.”

Max Meyer had cancelled out Neymar’s opener to force a shoot-out, in which Nils Petersen had his spot-kick saved by Weverton.

Sun 21 Aug, 2016
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