Brazil star Neymar during a friendly match ahead of the 2016 Rio OlympicsReuters

Rio Olympics 2016 hosts Brazil open their football campaign on Thursday as they clash swords with FIFA World Cup 2010 hosts South Africa at the Mane Garrincha Stadium, Brasilia. Barcelona superstar Neymar remains the star attraction of the match.

The Selecao, under Brazil U-20 coach Rogerio Micale, will be looking forward to bagging their first-ever gold medal in the Olympics this time around and what better way to tick off the expectation right in front of their home fans. 

"I want to be dependent on Neymar. What coach in the world would not want a Neymar in their team?" said Micale in the pre-match conference. "Neymar has exceeded my expectations. He is appreciated; he's a good guy with a huge heart especially around the younger players.

"He has shown that he is more than just a great player – he's a great man admired by everybody," the Brazilian coach added.

On paper, South Africa look the underdogs as they recently lost to the South American giants in an international friendly match, but having said that, in the grandest stage of them all, the African nation got past Brazil in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

"Brazil are a good team, with Neymar they will be dangerous, but as long as you believe, you can achieve something – and we strongly believe something good will happen," South Africa football coach Owen Da Gama said.

"The pressure is on them, as they failed at major international events. We will defend as a collective. We can't single out Neymar," he added.

Rio 2016: Brazil vs South Africa is scheduled for a 4 p.m. local time (8 p.m. BST, 12.30 a.m. IST) start on Aug. 4.

Where to watch live

India: TV: None. Live streaming: None

UK: TV BBC. Live streaming: None

US: TV: NBC Network. Live streaming: NBC Sports Live, NBC Olympics

Brazil: TV: Fox Sports 1 Brasil, ESPN Brasil. Live streaming: None