Rio de Janeiro, July 6 (IANS) Legendary football striker Romario has lambasted Brazil's choice of over-age players for the Olympic Games.
Brazil's national coach Mano Menezes announced a 22-man squad for London Thursday with Marcelo (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (AC Milan) and Hulk (FC Porto) named as the three over-23-year-old players permitted by the International Olympic Committee. The team will be trimmed to 18 people before the London Games, reported Xinhua.
"It is rubbish, nothing against the over-23s that were selected but this called for players who are respected," Romario told local media.
"I'm not the coach but I disagree with the selection. I would take three defenders over the age of 23."
Romario, who was part of Brazil's 1994 World Cup-winning team, said he would have chosen Silva alongside Chelsea's David Luiz and Barcelona's Daniel Alves.
The former Barcelona striker, now a federal deputy for the Brazilian socialist party, reserved particularly harsh criticism for Hulk.
"Hulk is a good player and has a big future but he is a player for the World Cup (in 2014), not the Olympics. We have so many players over the age of 23. We should have taken a player who commands more respect."
Menezes said Hulk, who has been linked with a summer move to Chelsea, was selected for his good performances during Brazil's four international friendlies in May and June.
As expected, the squad includes Brazil-based stars Neymar, Paulo Henrique Ganso, Oscar, Lucas and Leandro Damiao.
The Olympic tournament is the only major soccer competition Brazil is yet to win.