Even though the 2020 Olympics were delayed until 2021, most of the pieces have been put in place for the football competition in Tokyo. The time spent leading up to the start of the competition will see many young superstars looking to impress and book their ticket to Japan as early as possible. There are already several sides that are overloaded with talent in comparison to their rivals so it’s only fitting to see which countries are most likely to be vying for the gold medal when the time comes around. So who are the main candidates to take home gold in the 2020 Olympic Football mens event?
Olympic football 2020 – The contenders
There is no side brimming with more young talent right now than the reigning World Cup holders – France. It’s no secret that they possess some of the brightest young talents in the game with the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Hossem Aouar already global superstars before even ending their teenage years. This is combined with the emergence of young talents like Eduardo Camavinga and Benoit Badashile, who could help Les Bleus enjoy a new resurgence not seen since the late 1990’s. With the ability to have cameo appearances from the likes of Paul Pogba as well, it would be silly not to think that France would be there or thereabouts when the medals are decided.
South American sides have won 3 out of the last 5 Olympic football competitions so don’t be surprised to see the defending champions in the mix when they reach Tokyo. The Brazil U-23 side is awash with talents who are already breaking through into the world’s biggest teams, including the likes of Vinicius, Reinier and Rodrygo who are very much at the core of the team. If you consider that these young prodigies are likely to line up with more established names like Neymar, David Neres and Maycon, there is a very strong chance that Brazil can defend their title and keep the gold medal that they won on home soil 4 years ago.
African sides always perform strongly in the Olympics, regardless of whether they are known to the world or not. Egypt are perhaps the strongest force in African football at the minute so they could be an outsider to keep an eye on through the tournament. Almost all of their talent will be supplied from the ultra-competitive Egyptian Premier League, giving them extra grit and determination to push and upset more favoured opposition. As nations can field up to 3 players over 23, expect some of Egypt’s biggest stars to also make a few appearances at the tournament with the likes of Mo Salah available to cause damage at a moment’s notice. Write them off at your peril!
Spain have never won the gold medal for Olympic Football but that could all change when they arrive in Japan for the upcoming 2020 edition in Tokyo. Spanish football has been rebuilding for much of the previous decade and it looks like now could be time for the next wave of talent to make their impact on the global scene again. The rise of prodigies such as Ansu Fati, Pedri and Ferran Torres highlights the depth that Spain has in all areas on the pitch and that they could be ready to break sides down with devastating ease. In a summer that will also include the European Championships, there will be no better time for Spain to shake the football world to its core once again with a World Cup looming just over the horizon as well.