Brazil squad defends Manchester United defender Rafael
Members of the Brazil party have jumped to the defence of Manchester United defender Rafael, whose error cost the opening goal in a 2-1 Olympic final defeat to Mexico.
Rafael, 21, had received positive reviews for his performances this tournament, but erred in the face of Mexican pressure in the opening minute.
Coach Mano Menezes, though, does not believe that the full-back should be castigated for his mistake, having played a key-role in Brazil's progression to the final.
"The commitment of all the team got us here and we cannot forget that. The mistake was after 29 seconds," Menezes told reporters.
"We had over 89 minutes to change that. We lost the whole match, not because of an individual error."
Seleção star Neymar also jumped to the defender's defence, pointing out that there were other individuals, including himself, as culpable for the defeat.
"We all made mistakes, not only Rafael. I missed the chance of a goal, Oscar also. We all messed up passes," the Santos forward added.
"We are not going to blame it on Rafael because he made a mistake. It's normal. Unfortunately they made a goal, but the fault [for the defeat] is in no way Rafael's."