Olympics: Stuart Pearce keeps an eye on Daniel Sturridge
Team GB manager Stuart Pearce will make a decision on striker Daniel Sturridge’s Olympic dream after tonight’s friendly against Brazil.
The 22-year-old Chelsea frontman is battling back to fitness after being diagnosed with viral meningitis and remains a doubt for the tournament, which gets under way next week.
However, he is back in training, and Pearce is hopeful he will be ready to face Senegal in the Great Britain side’s first group game.
Pearce said: “He looks very good, to be fair. Obviously, we are hoping to play him in some part of the game tomorrow, and really make a final judgment call at that stage.
“But everything we have asked of him at the moment, he’s done. He’s come through that okay.
“I think the game, from a physical point of view, will tell us a lot.”
Pearce’s men face gold medal favourites Brazil at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium knowing their own credentials will be put to the test, and that they are likely to be some way behind the South Americans in terms of preparation.
Pearce added: “We are in this build-up process and the game and the fitness the game will give us will be a fantastic pointer.
“As I said to them when they first walked through the door, we need to be peaking for the Senegal game and we have to accept that we are going to get fitter and stronger day by day.
“We want to bring them to the boil around the Senegal game and beyond that.”
Striker Neymar feels Brazil’s Olympic side could make no better statement ahead of hosting the 2014 World Cup than by winning gold for the first time in the country’s history.
Despite lifting the World Cup on five occasions, Olympic gold has eluded Brazilians.
“There is a great expectation at home for us to win the gold medal,” the budding star said. “It is very important because we have never won Olympic gold before so now we have a chance to make history.”
Neymar, 20, who is the leading scorer at Santos, has been linked with a move to a European club.
“My wish today is to stay at Santos, and I am very happy,” Neymar said. “It is my dream to play in Europe one day, but not now.”
Brazil, drawn in Group C alongside Egypt, Belarus and New Zealand, face the British side tonight, and Neymar is disappointed that David Beckham was not selected for the London Games.
“I was sad, because he is a great player, so I would have liked to have played against him. It would have been something I could have told my children.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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