RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s football confederation has fired the coach who ledNeymar and company to the country’s first Olympic football gold medal in Rio de Janeiro.
Confederation spokesman Gregorio Fernandes confirmed on Monday that youth division coach Rogerio Micale was removed after Brazil failed to qualify for the next Under-20 World Cup.
In nine games in the South American U20 championship, Brazil won three, drew four, and lost two, ending in fifth position.
Micale started with Brazil U20s in May 2015, shortly before the U20 World Cup inNew Zealand, where Brazil lost the final to Serbia.
After Dunga was removed as coach in June 2016, Micale took over Brazil’s Olympic team.
Micale’s contract was recently extended to the 2020 Olympics.
His successor has not been picked.
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!
MORE: Neymar reflects on Rio Olympic shootout
The host didn’t believe it, but, yes, Usain Bolt called into Manchester United’s post-game show to discuss the club’s victory on New Year’s Eve.
“Next caller is in Jamaica, we’re heading over there to speak to Usain. It’s not Usain Bolt is it?” show host Mandy Henry said.
“It is Usain Bolt,” the nine-time Olympic champion responded.
Bolt went on to provide his thoughts on United’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough earlier Saturday.
“They came through like the old Manchester United,” said Bolt, a longtime United fan. “Everybody pushed, and we persevered, the Manchester United way. It was a great match. I am very happy about this.”
Later on Twitter, Bolt’s account confirmed he was the caller.
“Sorry Usain – we didn’t think it was you!” Henry’s account responded.
Bolt has said he expects to train with German club Borussia Dortmund within the next two years.
In the past, Bolt has been linked to Jamaica’s national team, played with Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and was erroneously reported to be suiting up in a special Manchester United match.
MORE: Usain Bolt says why he won’t pull a Michael Phelps unretirement
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil soccer star Neymar says taking the last penalty of the shootout against Germany in the final at the Olympics was the most nervous moment of his life.
Neymar converted the kick to give Brazil its first Olympic soccer title, winning 5-4 on penalties after the match ended 1-1 after extra time on Aug. 20.
The Barcelona striker was back at the Maracana for a charity game organized by former great Zico. Looking at the goalmouth where he scored the Olympic decider, Neymar recalled his key role in the penalty showdown.
“I am remembering that walk to it. It was the most nervous moment of my life. I couldn’t think of anything but ‘For the love of God, where will I kick this ball?” the 24-year old striker said Wednesday night. “Then God gave me the capacity to be calm and score that goal.”
Brazil had long sought Olympic gold as the only soccer title it didn’t have. Neymar carried Brazil to the final in the 2012 London Olympics, but lost to Mexico.
Gold in Rio was seen by many fans as a rebirth of Brazilian soccer after the 7-1 humiliation against Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinals.
After the final, Brazil’s national team managed to rise from sixth to first in the South American World Cup qualifiers. Only one more win should take the team of new coach Tite to the 2018 Russia World Cup.
Neymar scored two goals for Zico’s team in Wednesday’s match which raised money for relatives of victims of the air crash last month that killed 19 players from Brazilian club Chapecoense.
MORE: Soccer at LA 2024 Olympics would be spread out