As Rio put the finishing touches to preparations for the Games, Brazilian football fans prepared for the tournament debut of Barcelona superstar Neymar as the men’s football tournament gets under way.
Olympic gold is the only international title to elude Brazil in an illustrious history that has seen them win five World Cups.
Neymar had pushed hard to be included in the Olympic squad, two years after his World Cup campaign on home soil ended with a back injury which forced him to miss a humiliating 7-1 semi-final defeat against Germany.
“Neymar has exceeded my expectations. He is appreciated, he’s a good guy with a huge heart especially around the younger players,” Brazil manager Rogerio Micale said.
Brazil open their campaign against South Africa in Brasilia, one of six Olympic football host cities, before facing Iraq and Denmark in Group A.
The first gold medal should be given on Saturday in the shooting. Some 10,500 athletes are taking part in the Games which end on August 21.