Pato expects Beckham to inspire GB
AC Milan's Brazilian star Alexandre Pato believes Great Britain will be a team to be feared in the Olympic football tournament, especially if they include his old team-mate David Beckham.
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Pato, 22, is preparing to feature in his second Olympic Games, aiming to deliver a gold medal having won bronze with Brazil in Beijing four years ago.
Brazil face Great Britain in a pre-Olympics friendly at the Riverside Stadium on July 20 - and Pato hopes that is the only time they cross paths in the coming weeks.
"I hope I will only meet them in the friendly because in the Olympics they will be a very difficult side to beat, especially at home," Pato said.
"This will be the third time London has hosted the Olympics and football is very important here and I think Great Britain will be going for the title.
"Football is very important in Brazil and of all the times we have played at the Olympics we have never won a gold medal.
"In Beijing we won the bronze, which wasn't what was expected of us. But for me, getting that medal stirred up great emotion.
"If that was the emotion in winning the bronze I don't know what it would be like to win gold."
Pato won the Serie title A alongside Beckham at Milan and recognises what the leadership qualities he would bring to the Great Britain squad, if selected by coach Stuart Pearce.
The Olympics is ostensibly an Under-23 tournament but each nation is allowed to field three over-age players.
The likes of Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Gareth Bale, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Craig Bellamy have all been tipped for Great Britain selection.
"David has a lot to give in terms of his professionalism, in training, his expertise and his experience," Pato said.
"As a passer, a shooter, a free-kick expert he is a great asset and we do have to be very careful with him in these positions.
"If he can play for Great Britain at the Olympics he will be a real asset."
Pato is committed to AC Milan until the summer of 2014 but he has been targeted by European champions Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
"I love English football. I have friends who play for Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United," said Pato, who was enjoying the sights of London from The Cube on the roof of the Royal Festival Hall.
"At the moment I have a real taste for playing in the UK, being in London with one month to go before the Olympics.
"My priority is to finish my contract in Milan. I have a lot to thank them for and my focus is to continue doing what I do, to bring joy to the fans in Milan and continue my contract until 2014.
"And then afterwards, who knows?"
While Chelsea did not win the Champions League playing the kind of samba football for which Brazil are known, Pato admired their tenacity and battling qualities.
"I talk to David Luiz and I didn't really believe Chelsea would win it. But they have a tight group and they succeeded in doing what the greats want to do and win," Pato said.