Rio de Janeiro: Paris Saint-Germain have agreed to release center-back Marquinhos for this year’s Olympic Games football tournament, the Brazilian starlet said. The 22-year-old, who is currently with Brazil’s squad for the centenary edition of the Copa America in the US, said on Monday he had convinced the Ligue 1 club’s officials to allow him to play in Rio, Xinhua news agency reported. “Initially they weren’t too willing but we’ve spoken about it and now I am free to play,” Marquinhos was quoted as saying by the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper.
The Olympic Games do not fall on official FIFA dates, meaning clubs are not obliged to release their players for the tournament. Barcelona gave permission for star forward Neymar to compete on the condition the 24-year-old did not participate in the Copa America. But a number of other Brazilian players are yet to receive approval from their clubs for the August 3-20 competition.
Olympic football teams are allowed to include three players over the age of 23 in their squads. Apart from Neymar, Dunga is said to have chosen Chelsea midfielder Willian and Inter Milan defender Miranda to be among his mature-age quota. The Olympic football tournament is the only senior international competition that Brazil have never won. –IANS
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