Neymar out to end Brazil wait for Olympic gold

Brazil forward Neymar has expressed his desire to represent his country at the London 2012 Olympics and stressed that the competition is important in developing young players.

The Olympic men's football tournament is an under-23 competition, although three over-age players are permitted in each squad.

Five-time World Cup winners Brazil are yet to win the tournament, with Argentina having taken gold in both 2004 and 2008.

However, Neymar wants his fellow young Brazilian team-mates to change that statistic and win the Olympic football competition for the first time in the country's history this summer.

"This is a dream of mine, I am waiting to play in London and looking forward to it," the 19-year-old said.

"Brazil have never won the gold and this is a chance for us to bring it back. It's very important to everyone here.

"People in Europe do not think Olympic football is important because it is less crucial for them to develop young players.

"If you take a top English team, they will have just a few English players. Because European teams can buy so many players from outside, young players are not so important.

"In Brazil, we need to develop our youngsters and this is why the Olympic team is more important for us."

Neymar will join Brazilian greats Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos in playing at the Olympics, but the Santos star has revealed that he is looking forward to facing an English icon this summer.

"It would be a pleasure to play against David Beckham. Fortunately I had the chance to meet him last year [at a MLS game in New York]. He was very kind and it would be an honour to play on the same pitch as him this year in London," he added.

Tickets for the London 2012 Olympic Football Tournament are currently on sale until the February 6 with any remaining tickets being made available in April. For your chance to buy tickets to watch Team GB visit www.tickets.london2012.com

By Vaishali Bhardwaj