Football Features

Where are they now? Brazil v Germany 2016 Olympics Gold medal match

By Chris Smith

Brazil vs Germany 2016 Olympics Gold medal match: Where are they now?

Published: 17:14, 3 April 2020

Perhaps no national side in modern football has craved Olympic gold quite as much Brazil.

More generally, with the age restrictions set in place for football, the Olympic games can act as a springboard for younger players to launch their international careers.

But for Brazil, the most successful national team in football history with seven World Cups, the foremost spot on the podium had become an obsession, one intensified by three silver medals (1984, 1988 and 2012) and two bronze (1996, 2008).

 

The elusive gold finally came in four years after London 2012’s defeat to Mexico. This time, Germany were the opponents. The location was Rio (where else?) and the host nation completed their collection of international honours via a penalty shootout win over Die Mannschaft after a 1-1 draw.

(160820) -- RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 20, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Neymar (2nd R) of Brazil attends the awarding ceremony of the men's football gold medal match at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 20, 2016. Brazil won the gold medal on penalty shoot-out. (Xinhua/Cheng Min)(dh) (Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA)

(Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA)

There was a host of big names on both sides that day, but where are they now?

Brazil

Goalkeeper: Weverton

Age: 32

Current club: Palmeiras

International caps (including Olympics): 8

Weverton was only in the squad to replace the injured Fernando Prass but made his presence felt, saving a Nils Petersen penalty during the gold medal match shootout. Back then, he played his club football for Atlético Paranaense but joined Palmeiras in 2018.

Since the Olympics, Weverton has managed another two senior caps with Brazil.

Right-back: Zeca

Age: 25

Current club: Internacional

International caps (including Olympics): 2

Another home-based talent, Zeca only played twice during the Olympics but started at right-back in the all-important gold medal match.

Since then, he’s left Santos – where he won two Campeonato Paulista titles – to join Internacional.

Centre-back: Marquinhos

Age: 25

Current club: Paris Saint-Germain

International caps (including Olympics): 52

One of the monumental success stories of this side, Marquinhos was already a mainstay for PSG’s all-conquering superstars. Now, he’s one of the most highly-regarded centre-backs on the planet.

The 25-year-old remains in Paris and has five Ligue 1 titles under his belt to date, as well as 52 caps for Brazil, with whom he tasted Copa America success in 2019 (also on home soil).

Centre-back: Rodrigo Caio

Age: 26

Current club: Flamengo

International caps (including Olympics): 1o

Rodrigo Caio was already a Copa Sudamericana winner with Sao Paulo by the time the Olympics came about and since then, things have got better and better.

The 26-year-old has 10 Selecao caps to his name to date. Since moving to Flamengo in 2019, he’s lifted Brazilian Serie A, Campeonato Carioca, Copa Libertadores, Supercopa do Brasil and Recopa Sudamericana titles. Quite the trophy haul.

Left-back: Douglas Santos 

Age: 26

Current club: Zenit Saint Petersburg

International caps (including Olympics): 7

Douglas Santos was one of Brazil’s best players en route to the Selecao winning gold and his performances in Rio earned him a move back to Europe with Hamburg.

Impressing over his 88 performances with the German side, Douglas moved to Zenit Saint Petersburg in July 2019 but is yet to make a serious breakthrough in Tite’s Brazil side since.

Centre-midfield: Walace

Age: 24

Current club: Udinese

International caps (including Olympics): 10

Walace was given a place in the Olympic squad when now-Manchester United midfielder Fred was denied leave to participate by Shakhtar Donetsk. He went on to feature four times at the tournament and, just a few months later, earned a move from Gremio to Hamburg.

The 24-year-old struggled for regular minutes there but has gone on to represent Hannover and Italian side Udinese since, all while taking his total international caps into double figures.

Centre-midfield: Renato Augusto

Age: 32

Current club: Beijing Guoan

International caps (including Olympics): 38

One of the over-age players selected by Brazil, Renato Augusto finally got to experience Olympic football having only made the preliminary squad in 2008 and played six times in Rio. He had the task of taking Brazil’s first penalty in the shootout and just like his five other teammates to step up, fired home.

Now 32, Renato remains in China with Beijing Guoan, where he’s scored 36 goals in 128 games, lifting the Chinese FA Cup in 2018.

Centre-midfield: Luan

Age: 27

Current club: Corinthians

International caps (including Olympics): 8

Luan was one of Brazil’s most important players at Rio 2016, scoring three times and taking the fourth penalty in the gold medal shootout.

The 27-year-old has played all of his football in Brazil so far and after scoring 75 goals in 286 appearances for Gremio, joined Corinthians €5m in 2019.

Right wing: Gabriel Barbosa

Age: 23

Current club: Flamengo

International caps (including Olympics): 11

‘Gabigol’ scored twice at Rio 2016 and certainly played his part but, given his achievements since then, that looks like a rather passive contribution.

The 23-year-old struggled to make his mark at Inter Milan and after a failed loan spell at Benfica and a much more fruitful stint back at Santos, joined Flamengo in January 2019.

Gabriel has already sealed legendary status with Mengão since then, scoring 43 goals in 59 games during his first season, including two in the dying minutes of the 2019 Copa Libertadores final as Flamengo sealed a 2-1 comeback win over River Plate.

That was enough to seal the South American Footballer of the Year award and Gabigol has since made his move to Flamengo permanent for a reported €18.5m.

Centre-forward: Gabriel Jesus

Age: 23

Current club: Manchester City

International caps (including Olympics): 45

A string of top European clubs were keeping tabs on the very talented young centre-forward, including Barcelona and Juventus, but Gabriel Jesus ultimately joined Manchester City following the 2016 summer games.

He’s largely been utilised as Sergio Aguero’s understudy, though at times manager Pep Guardiola has opted to deploy him as his more experienced teammates progess deeper into the ‘Golden Years’ of their playing careers. To date, Jesus has bagged 63 goals across 139 matches in all competitions and lifted two Premier League titles.

Left-wing: Neymar

Age: 28

Current club: Paris Saint-Germain

International caps (including Olympics): 116

RIO DE JANEIRO, RJ - 20.08.2016: OLYMPICS 2016 FOOTBALL RJ - Neymar Jr. Brazil rises in the stands after winning the gold medal after the match between Brazil vs Germany valid for the race for football gold in Rio Olympics 2016 held at Maracanã Stadium. NOT AVAILABLE FOR LICENSING IN CHINA (Photo: Marcelo Machado de Melo/Fotoarena) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***

(Photo: Marcelo Machado de Melo/Fotoarena)

Neymar has been Brazilian football’s poster boy for the last decade and is showing no signs of slowing down. Although he’s been dogged by injuries across since joining Paris Saint-Germain, the old adage that ‘class is permanent’ continues to apply.

For Neymar, the 2016 gold medal represented a redemption of sorts. He featured in Brazil’s run to the 2012 Olympic Games final, scoring three goals along the way, only to lose to Mexico. So the former Barcelona man wasn’t going to miss his home tournament for the world.

After beginning the tournament slowly (no goals in his first three games), Neymar came alive. He scored four times in three games, including the 1-1 draw with Germany. But that wasn’t the end of his involvement. He would score the winning penalty, thus winning Brazil their first-ever men’s football gold medal. A year later, PSG would make Neymar the world’s most expensive footballer after triggering a release clause in his contract. He’s been there since, scoring 69 goals in 80 appearances.

Substitutes

Rafinha Alcântara

Age: 27

Current club: Celta Vigo (on loan from Barcelona)

International caps (including Olympics): 7

A son of Brazil world champion Mazinho, the former Barcelona academy graduate followed in his father’s footsteps by representing the Seleção with his older (and more accomplished) brother Thiago Alcântara, who opted to wear the colours of Spain.

Rafinha featured in all but one of Brazil’s matches as they went all the way, but to date has only made two senior appearances. His most recent outing came in a 4-1 win over the United States in 2015, a game in which he scored his only international goal.

Felipe Anderson

Age: 26

Current club: West Ham United

International caps (including Olympics): 5

Felipe Anderson started in two of Brazil’s games, including the opening goalless draw against South Africa. His only contribution came off the bench when the hosts ran out 6-0 winners against Honduras to reach the final against Germany.

Back then, Anderson was an exciting talent at Lazio and two years later he’d make headlines by switching to West Ham. It was very seen as a statement of intent by the Hammers, and so far the forward has managed 11 goals across 64 matches for the London-based club.

Brazil 2016 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL MATCH

Germany

Goalkeeper: Timo Horn

Age: 26

Current club: FC Koln

International caps (including Olympics)6

Timo Horn, who already had four senior international caps under his belt, consistently started in goal for Germany and would concede five times across their opening two games before keeping three clean sheets en route to the final.

He wasn’t able to prevent a Brazilian effort in the shootout, but nonetheless enhanced his reputation. A move away from boyhood club FC Köln never happened, though, and he has now played over 250 games for the mid-table Bundesliga side.

Right-back: Jeremy Toljan

Age: 25

Current club: Sassuolo (on loan from Borussia Dortmund)

International caps (including Olympics): 6

Yet to be capped by Joachim Löw (and that doesn’t seem set to change anytime soon) the Stuttgart-born full-back only missed 45 minutes as Germany cruised to the final. He would be on hand to assist Max Meyer to equalise after Neymar had put the hosts in front. Since picking up his silver medal, Toljan joined Borussia Dortmund from Hoffenheim before loan spells at Celtic and then Sassuolo, where he’s currently based.

Centre-back: Matthias Ginter

Age: 26

Current club: Borussia Monchengladbach

International caps (including Olympics): 34

A mainstay of Germany’s senior team at the moment, Matthias Ginter would strike twice from central defence in Rio. That remains double his total for the four-time world champions in official Fifa competitions. After biding his time at Dortmund, whom he joined two years prior to the Olympics, Ginter hasn’t looked back and is now one of the first names on Lucien Favre’s teamsheet.

Centre-back: Niklas Sule

Age: 24

Current club: Bayern Munich

International caps (including Olympics): 30

There’s no question regarding Niklas Sule’s potential. Bayern Munich spotted that and swiftly brought him to Bavaria a year after these games, where he didn’t miss a second of the action. Unfortunately, he’s currently sidelined after rupturing his cruciate ligament in a Bundesliga outing against Augsburg last October. But once back, expect the towering centre-back to slot straight back in Bayern’s central defence.

Left-back: Lukas Klostermann

Age: 23

Current club: RB Leipzig

International caps (including Olympics): 14

The multifunctional defender has been an integral fixture in RB Leipzig’s impressive Champions League campaign this season. Julian Nagelsmann has predominantly utilised him as a centre-back, but then Olympics coach Horst Hrubesch played the Gevelsberg-born footballer at left-back, where he helped himself to a goal against Nigeria in the semi-finals.

Right-midfield: Sven Bender

Age: 30

Current club: Bayer Leverkusen

International caps (including Olympics): 13

The veteran midfielder, who played a key role in Borussia Dortmund’s last all-conquering team under Jurgen Klopp, brought a touch of experience to Germany’s lineup as one of the three players aged over 23, but he couldn’t be the difference-maker as the European side settled for silver. Since leaving Dortmund in 2017, he’s joined Bayer Leverkusen, where Sven has linked up with twin brother (and club captain) Lars.

Centre-midfield: Julian Brandt

Age: 23

Current club: Borussia Dortmund

International caps (including Olympics): 37

Highly regarded during his Bayer Leverkusen youth days, Julian Brandt made the switch to Dortmund last summer and has been a relative success, registering seven goals and creating a further eight across 33 matches in all competitions. He’s now a go-to man for the national team, a role he dutifully played for the Olympics team. Despite not scoring in Rio, he’d finish the tournament with nine assists in six games.

Centre-midfield: Lars Bender

Age: 30

Current club: Bayer Leverkusen

International caps (including Olympics): 25

Lars Bender is undoubtedly a Bayer Leverkusen great having now been with the Bundesliga club for over a decade and making 300+ appearances. Though he’s not been able to help the club to any silverware, his undying commitment has endeared him to supporters. A right-back predominantly under Peter Bosz, the 19-time capped German international was exclusively used as a defensive midfielder in Rio.

Left-midfield: Max Meyer

Age: 24

Current club: Crystal Palace

International caps (including Olympics): 10

A rising star at Schalke 04, many expected Meyer to follow the path of fellow academy stars Mesut Ozil and Leroy Sane, but the attacking midfielder now represents Crystal Palace and not one of Europe’s biggest clubs. Back in 2016, he finished on four goals – a hat-trick against Fiji, which ended 10-0, before scoring the equaliser in the final against Brazil.

Striker: Serge Gnabry

Age: 24

Current club: Bayern Munich

International caps (including Olympics): 19

Few could have foreseen Serge Gnabry becoming the player he is now back when he was struggling to get into West Brom’s team on loan from Arsenal all those years ago. He’s been nothing short of sensational following a lucrative move to Bayern, though, and that form has reinvigorated Germany – 13 goals in 13 senior games – as they continue rebuilding after disappointingly surrendering their crown in Russia.

The signs were there for all to see at the 2016 games, though, where he struck six times (all of which came in the opening four games), making Gnabry the joint-leading scorer for the 2016 Games.

Striker: Davie Selke

Age: 25

Current club: Werder Bremen (on loan from Hertha Berlin)

International caps (including Olympics): 5

Davie Selke led the line in Brazil but could only muster two goals. He’s yet to earn a senior international call-up and the Schorndorf-born centre-forward has only managed one goal in 22 league matches for Werder Bremen this season.

Substitutes

Grischa Promel

Age: 25

Current club: Union Berlin

International caps (including Olympics): 4

A central midfielder by trade, Grischa Prömel came off the bench four times in Rio, including the final 67 minutes (which includes extra time) of the final against Brazil. Now, at Union Berlin, Promel recently came back from a serious knee injury.

Nils Petersen

Age: 31

Current club: SC Freiburg

International caps (including Olympics): 8

Nils Petersen will not look back fondly on the summer of 2016, even though he finished joint-top scorer on six goals alongside Gnabry as the two-time capped international missed the only penalty in the shootout against Brazil.

GERMANY 2016 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL MATCH