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Machado playing in fifth FIBA flagship event and still going strong
GRANADA (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Anyone attending Brazil Group A games at Palacio Municipal de Deportes in Granada might have noticed a five-year-old singing out loud and supporting every time Marcelo Machado steps on the floor.
He is Machado's son.
He sings the traditional Brazil sports fans song "O Campeao Voltou", which roughly translates to "The Champion is Back".
In fact, Machado returned from his retirement from the national team after making his first and only Olympic appearance in London a couple of years ago.
He had just suffered a knee injury, but as his young man sings, "O Campeao Voltou".
At the age of 39 and with five appearance in FIBA's flagship event under his belt, Machado prefers to be called "experienced" rather than the oldest player in Spain 2014.
In Monday's 82-63 defeat to Spain, the sharpshooting forward - who is yet to win a World Cup medal for his country - made sure to show why head coach Ruben Magnano reached out to see him wearing the yellow-green jersey again.
With Brazil having trouble to adjust their perimeter defense and shooting woefully from behind the arc, Machado came off the bench and hit two of three three-pointers. Ultimately though, the host nation was simply unstoppable.
Following their win over Iran, Machado said that regardless of what happens in the Group Phase, Brazil came to Spain to win the tournament.
For us Brazilians, a significant reward in this World Cup would be to earn a medal. And we are here to win this championship - Machado
And, the age seems to be no more than a number for one of the top performers in Brazil's recent basketball history.
"My presence in this tournament is a reward for my basketball career. For me to be able to play in my fifth World Cup means I have been playing at a good level all along," the Flamengo Regatas forward explained.
"I am happy with my age status," he says, but "I prefer to be called experienced player."
"When Ruben (Magnano) asked me if I was willing to come back (to the national team), my immediate response was, yes, because it is a pleasure to play for country. I could not miss the chance of playing at a such high competitive tournament."
The Rio de Janeiro-native has not decided his national team future just yet, but when asked if he was considering playing at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, his facial expression said it all, even though he insists that he is living each experience at a time.
"For now my focus is on the World Cup. We'll talk about my future at the right time.
"When one reaches a certain age, one needs to be cautious with the things you say.
"I prefer not to talk about the Rio de Janeiro Olympics because I have previously announced my retirement from the national team and returned."