The Olympic Games are the most significant event for all athletes. There are special expectations for the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The competition was canceled last year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
That’s why, both athletes and fans waited one more year, and the excitement increased significantly. Of course, football is also present among the sport disciplines featured in Tokyo in 2021. Experts have already started making their predictions, although the Olympics are just beginning.
Football tournament at the Olympics
The football tournament at the Olympic Games traditionally holds a special position. There are specific rules for athletes. In particular, the following rule has been in effect for more than thirty years: all players in a team must be under 23 years old. Only three players can be older than this age. In 2021, the age limit has been adjusted to 24. Most likely, this is associated with the missed season.
Thus, those players who were preparing to go to the Olympics in 2020 will be able to take part in competitions in 2021 even if they have already turned 23. It is highly likely that at the next Olympics the age limit will return to its usual limits.
The football tournament is one of the longest competitions in the Olympics. The first game took place on July 22. In fact, at that time the opening ceremony had not even taken place. It was one of the first events at the Olympic Games. The final is scheduled for August 7, almost at the very end of the competition. Tournament events have had a span of 17 days.
The group stage lasted until July 28. During this stage, the teams are usually divided into groups of four. Then two teams proceed to the playoffs. At the same time, the playoffs begin with the quarterfinals.
In the world of football, the Olympics are less significant events than the World Cup or the Euro. But the tournament is still quite important, so fans actively place bets, and experts forecast the outcome and choose their favorites. Current information from experts can be viewed on the Scores24 portal in a special section.
In 2016, the Brazilian national team became the winner of the football tournament at the Summer Olympics. This year this team is also among the favorites. Many experts argue that Brazilians can win the longed-for medals again. In terms of popularity, the Brazilians are second only to the Spaniards.
The Spanish national team includes a fairly large number of players who participated in the recent Euro 2020 and performed excellently. The list of such players includes, for instance, Eric Garcia (Barcelona center-back, transfer price €20 mln), Unai Simón (Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper, estimated value € 20 mln), and Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig midfielder, estimated cost – €50 mln).
Of course, Pedri, Barcelona’s midfielder, deserves special attention. This young footballer had an amazing performance at the Euro and was named the best young player on the continent. Pedri is expected to become one of the stars of the Tokyo Olympics. At the moment, the transfer price of Pedri is estimated to be €70 mln. It’s no wonder that with such a vibrant line-up, the Spanish national team is pinned special hopes.
French, Germans, and Argentines are also among the favorites. The latter won the Olympic Games as many as two times – in 2004 and in 2008. In general, Brazil and Argentina can be called the permanent leaders of the Olympic Games, namely of the football tournament. In almost every competition, either Brazil or Argentina does make it to the final. The teams show consistently good results, so experts predict that this trend will continue.
The composition of the Brazilian national team deserves special attention. This year it can be confidently said that the squad is truly star-spangled. The line-up will include the top player of the English Premier League – Richarlison. He is a young football star with a market value of over 50 million euros. The player has long been known in Europe, at the moment he plays for FC Everton. Richarlison is a striker, so he is expected to score many brilliant goals against opponents at the Olympics.
Another notable figure in the Brazilian national team is Matheus Cunha. This is a young striker, who is still inferior in popularity to Richarlison but has already sparked great interest in his skills. Many experts note that he has already developed a kind of signature tactic, he uses his own tricks on the football field. At the moment he is a player of Hertha BSC.
He is estimated at approximately 30 million euros. A vivid performance is also expected from Matheus at the Olympics. Representatives of top teams have already been actively showing interest in him. The squads of other national teams cannot boast to have such bright such as Brazil does. For example, when it comes to the German national team, Nadim Amiri is the only young brilliant player that can be mentioned. He is just starting his career and currently plays for Bayer.
Experts estimate him at approximately 18 million euros. It can be said that the France Olympic team is the most unexpected team in the list of favorites – they have not been among the favorites of the Olympic Games for a long time. Moreover, the last time they performed well at the Olympics was back in 1984. However, France has a pretty interesting lineup. The rising stars in the squad include:
1. Pierre Kalulu (AC Milan defender, estimated at approximately € 7mln)
2. Lucas Tousart (Hertha BSC midfielder, estimated at approximately € 16 mln)
3. Nathanaël Mbuku (Stade de Reims striker, estimated at approximately € 9 mln)
According to experts, young players will do their best to demonstrate their skills at the Olympics to attract the attention of scouts. Whether this will somehow affect the result of the French Olympic team is anybody’s guess so far.