Reds defender Rafael is determined to make history by winning Olympic gold with Brazil.
A multitude of silverware, including five World Cups and eight Copa America titles, is on show at the national team’s headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, and yet the boys from Brazil have never tasted success at the Summer Games.
Squads in 1984 and 1988 took silver medals home, while bronze was won in 1996 and, by a side including United midfielder Anderson, in 2008.
Now Rafael hopes to go one better and win gold when Brazil meet Mexico at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 15:00 BST).
“It’s a massive game,” he told PA Sport. “We’ve never won this title so we’ll be doing everything we can to win it for Brazil.
“This is an important tournament for Brazil. We have secured a medal, now we need to work hard to beat Mexico.
“It would be amazing. Everyone back home is supporting us to try and get this medal.
“There is always a lot of pressure playing for Brazil and we have never won this medal. It is the only one we have never had, so we’ll do everything we can to win.”
The 22-year-old described his Olympics experience so far as “amazing” and believes victory in the final could help boost his own career.
“Maybe the Brazil coach will think about me for the 2014 World Cup,” he said. “Also, maybe the people in England will think about me differently if we win the tournament. It is always good to win medals. This tournament is good for my career.”
Win or lose in the final, Rafael won’t be resting any time soon. He’s been included in Brazil’s senior squad to play Sweden next Wednesday in Stockholm. Then he’ll return to Manchester to prepare for the Reds’ 2012/13 Premier League campaign, which kicks off against Everton at Goodison Park on Monday 20 August .