Top 10 Olympic Soccer Rankings 2021
Where France, Ivory Coast, Spain, and more rank in the 2021 Olympic Football Rankings
(Don't forget to rank your Top 10 Countries at the end of this article for a chance to win a $50 gift card or the equivalence of this amount of your country)
Many of the world's top men's soccer teams rely on their young stars in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics soccer competition. FIFA and the International Olympic Committee limit tournament participation to players who are 23 years of age and younger, with only three over-23 selections permitted on each roster. Given the pandemic delay, that age cut off was pushed to 24 for 2021. It’s also not mandatory that clubs release male players to their national teams for the men’s Olympic tournament. That's why you don’t see Lionel Messi playing for Argentina or Neymar playing for Brazil in Tokyo 2021.
On the other hand, the absence of the biggest soccer stars makes the competition even more unpredictable. Many teams in the past have used the Olympics to win a major tournament for their country.
Sixteen teams will face off in Tokyo and here we are ranking the top 10 among them.
Top 10 Olympic Rankings
Egypt is among the three African nations that have qualified for the Olympic soccer tournament. Soccer in Egypt is on the rise since Mohamed Salah led the team to their first World Cup appearance in 2018 in 28 years. Salah is not among the players who will suit up for the Olympics since all of the 19 players on the roster play in the Egyptian championship. This is their 12th Olympic appearance and they have made it to the quarter-finals three times, most recently in 2012. Such an achievement would be a big surprise from this squad.
The head coach of the Socceroos, Graham Arnold, led the team to their first Games since 2008. Manchester City's Daniel Arzani, the youngest player ever to appear for Australia at a World Cup, is the stand-out name in a squad that features 12 players who play in the A-League. Three others are also playing in the English Premier League which makes the Aussies dangerous to a certain point. They might surprise some of the favorites, but playing for a medal will probably remain a dream.
The host nation is hoping that their young footballers can find their way to the podium. Real Madrid’s Takefusa Kubo is the best player on the team even though he is among the three youngest among them. When it comes to leadership, the Japanese brought in their first team captain, the 32-year-old Maya Yoshida from Sampdoria. The Japanese will definitely fight until the last breath but some major success is pretty unlikely.
Manchester United winger Amad Diallo is the best player on the squad, alongside club-mate Eric Bailly, who is one of three over-aged players. The other two are Milan's Franck Kessie and Max Gradel, the former Leicester, Bournemouth and Leeds forward who now plays in Turkey, with Sivasspor. Les Éléphants are probably the best African team in the past two decades, producing numerous young quality players. If some team can make a huge upset in the tournament, that will be Ivory Coast.
The reigning World Cup champions are usually among the top favorites at any tournament but this time that might not be the case. Five of their top prospects, including Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga and Arsenal defender William Saliba should have been a part of the roster but their teams objected their participation in Tokyo. Florian Thauvin is the leader of the team, being one of three over-aged players and the only one who was on the 2018 World Cup roster.
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Real Betis’ Diego Lainez is one of just two players on the list who doesn’t play in Mexico, with the other being Genk's Gerardo Arteaga. Mexico roared to the top of their qualifying group thanks to a trio of outstanding attackers Uriel Antuna, Jose Juan Macias and Alexis Vega, all from club side Chivas. They won the 2012 London Olympics and whoever underestimates them might pay the price.
Results Update: Bronze Medal
The team will be led by Stefan Kuntz, the former international striker who was part of his country's victorious Euro 1996 team. The Germans are always tough playing their recognizable style and have a quality roster who can reach the semi-finals. The 27-year-old Wolfsburg midfielder Maximilian Arnold is the team captain and probably the best player in the tournament in that position.
The goalkeeper Jeremías Ledesma is the only over-aged player in the Argentina squad who has seen major success in the previous tournaments. They won the 2004 and 2008 Olympics mainly because of talents such as Leo Messi and Javier Mascherano. This team is far from that level but still, there are players such as Fernando Valenzuela or Thiago Almada who might make a difference in any single game.
Among Spain’s outstanding young squad, Dani Olmo of RB Leipzig in Germany stands above the rest. Having recently made himself a regular in Luis Enrique’s senior national team, Olmo’s long-distance shooting and clever reading of the game, mark him out among those to watch closely in Tokyo. Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio and Dani Ceballos are also players from the highest level which puts the Spain team among the favorites to win the tournament.
Results Update: Spain Medal
Brazil managed to win the tournament on home soil in 2016 and is the top favorite to repeat that in Tokyo Olympics. Barcelona legend Dani Alves is one of the three over-age players included, alongside Diego Carlos from Sevilla and the goalkeeper Santos from Atletico Paranaense. Most of the roster consists of players who have won together in the youth tournaments and such a success is highly expected in Tokyo.
Results Update: Gold Medal
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