The CONMEBOL section of the Olympic Games qualifiers for the 1988 tournament in Seoul saw Brazil first travel to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where they were facing a four matches long first group stage competition. They were up against Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay in the space of eight days, and these were the results: 

18/4-87: Paraguay 3-1 (João Paulo, Bebeto, Mirandinha)
20/4-87: Colombia 0-2
24/4-87: Uruguay 1-1 (Mirandinha)
26/4-87: Peru 1-1 (Douglas)

This saw the Brazilians qualify for the second group stage along with group winners Colombia. The second group stage would be contested in the La Paz altitude, so indeed all CONMEBOL qualifiers for this Olympic tournament were played out in Bolivia: 

29/4-87: Argentina 0-2
1/5-87: Colombia 2-1 (Jorginho, João Paulo)
3/5-87: Bolivia 2-1 (Valdo, Mirandinha)

Brazil progressed through to the Olympics as group winners, and along with second placed Argentina. 

Olympic team manager was Carlos Alberto Silva, 49 years by the time of the tournament in South Korea. He had previously managed a host of clubs on the domestic scene, most recently Cruzeiro. These were the 20 men whom he’d summoned for the journey to Asia: 

1 Taffarel, 22, Internacional (goalkeeper)
2 Jorginho, 22, Flamengo (defender)
3 Batista, 27, Atlético Mineiro (defender)
4 Ricardo Gomes, 23, Fluminense (defender)
5 Ademir, 28, Cruzeiro (midfielder)
6 Mazinho, 22, Vasco da Gama (defender)
7 Valdo, 24, Benfica (midfielder)
8 Geovani, 24, Vasco da Gama (midfielder)
9 Edmar, 28, Corinthians (forward)
10 Careca II, 19, Cruzeiro (forward)
11 Romário, 22, Vasco da Gama (forward)
12 Zé Carlos, 26, Flamengo (goalkeeper)
13 André Cruz, 21, Ponte Preta (defender)
14 Luiz Carlos Winck, 25, Internacional (defender)
15 Aloísio, 25, Internacional (defender)
16 Mílton, 26, Coritiba (midfielder)
17 Neto, 22, Guarani (midfielder)
18 João Paulo, 24, Guarani (forward)
19 Andrade, 31, Flamengo (midfielder)
20 Bebeto, 24, Flamengo (forward)

Brazil were negotiating the group stage along with Nigeria, Yugoslavia and Australia. These were their results: 

Group D:
18/9: Nigeria 4-0 (Edmar, Romário 2, Bebeto)
20/9: Australia 3-0 (Romário 3)
22/9: Yugoslavia 2-1 (André Cruz, Bebeto)

25/9: Argentina 1-0 (Geovani)

27/9: West Germany 1-1 a.e.t. (Romário) 3-2 after penalty shoot-out

1/10: Soviet Union 1-2 a.e.t. (Romário) 

Silver medals might have been a disappointment, as Brazil had travelled with a fearsome forward pairing in Bebeto and Romário (the tournament’s top goalscorer with seven), but they’d lost to a strong-looking Soviet side, despite having taken the lead in the final. The game had been settled in extra time. As it would later turn out, eight of the 20 players who featured in the Brazilian squad would also participate during their World Cup qualification for Italia ’90.