A look at the leading contenders for Olympic soccer gold: Brazil, Spain, France...

With the Euros and Copa America now a distant memory, focus shifts to the Olympics, where five soccer powerhouses are all pursuing gold.

It is not held in the same regard as the European Championship or the World Cup, but the Olympics may be the perfect antidote to any lingering Euros withdrawal symptoms.

And, while nations have been criticised in the past for sending weaker teams to Olympic events, it seems this year there may be some serious firepower on show.

The event differs slightly from the usual format of an international tournament by limiting nations to players aged 24 or under, with only three 'over-age' players allowed in each squad.

It's a great event to scout potential future talent - players such as Lionel Messi, NeymarPep Guardiola and Carlos Tevez all won Olympic gold medals with their country before going on to become global superstars.

Following on from Brazil's success in 2016, Planet Sport looks at the five leading contenders to take home gold this summer.


After their penalty shootout win over Germany in the 2016 gold medal match, Brazil enter the 2020 Olympics as favourites to take home gold.

Following their Copa America final loss to Argentina, Brazil's final chance of silverware this year comes at the Olympics, although they will have to defend their title away from home soil this time around.

After initially naming a 50-man preliminary squad on June 15, Brazil finalised their roster on July 2 after a number of clubs refused to allow their players to participate.

But even after a handful of omissions, Brazil's Olympic squad is stacked with talent including Barcelona legend, Dani Alves, Everton forward Richarlison and Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli.

Brazil face a tough opening game, lining up against Germany in a replica of the 2016 gold medal final.

At current odds, Brazil are favourites to win the tie at 20/21, whereas Germany can be backed at 11/4 to win the opening clash.


Goalkeepers: Brenno, Lucao, Santos*.

Defenders: Nino, Ricardo Graca, Guilherme Arana, Gabriel Menino, Dani Alves*, Diego Carlos*, Abner Vinicius, Bruno Fuchs.

Midfielders: Matheus Henrique, Bruno Guimaraes, Douglas Luiz, Claudinho, Reinier, Douglas Augusto.

Forwards: Gabriel Martinelli, Paulinho, Richarlison, Matheus Cunha, Antony.

*Over-aged player


Spain have only managed to win gold once, in 1992, but when they named their squad for the tournament, it's easy to see why they are now considered among the favourites this summer.

From their 22-man squad, six players were members of Spain's Euro 2020 squad.

Euro 2020 Young Player of the Tournament, Pedri, is certainly an eye-catching addition, and he'll be joined by Dani Olmo. Unai Simon, Mikel Oyarzabal, Pau Torres, and Manchester City's Eric Garcia in the Olympic squad.

On top of that, Real Madrid duo Marco Asensio and Dani Ceballos are also joining the group as two of the over-23 players, supplemented by Real Sociedad's Mikel Merino.

Before they get too carried away, they will have to navigate a group containing Egypt, Australia and Argentina.

Egypt are first up and the Euro semi-finalists are strong favourites to win the tie at 2/7, while an Egyptian upset can be backed at 11/1.


Goalkeepers: Alex Dominguez, Alvaro Fernandes, Unai Simon.

Defenders: Eric Garcia, Juan Miranda, Oscar Mingueza, Oscar Gil, Pau Torres, Jesus Vallejo.

Midfielders: Pedri, Bryan Gil, Martin Zubimendi, Marc Cucurella, Jon Moncayola, Dani Olmo, Carlos Soler, Dani Ceballos*, Mikel Merino*, Marco Asensio*.

Forwards: Javi Puado, Rafa Mir, Mikel Oyarzabal.


After their disappointing Euro 2020 exit against SwitzerlandFrance will be looking to return to the international scene with a bang this summer at the Olympics.

However, while other sides have had the chance to name star-studded, recognisable squads, France have faced a lot of resistance from clubs over their call-ups.

Highly-rated Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga was initially included in the squad, as was Arsenal defender William Saliba but both players' clubs dismissed the call-ups, insisting their players stay.

Eleven players who were initially called up were refused leave of absence from their clubs, leaving French coach Sylvain Ripoll no choice but to make a number of changes to his squad.

However, the squad still boasts an abundance of talent, such as Tigres duo Andre-Pierre Gignac and Florian Thauvin.

Despite the frustrations caused by their revised squad selection, you can never afford to discount France in international tournaments and they will undoubtedly be serious contenders for gold once again.

Their campaign starts with a tie against Mexico, before clashes against South Africa and Japan round off their group stage.


Goalkeepers: Paul Bernardoni, Stefan Bajic, Dimitry Bertaud.

Defenders: Melvin Bard, Anthony Caci, Ismael Doukoure, Pierre Kalulu, Clement Michelin, Timothee Pembele, Modibo Sagnan.

Midfielders: Alexis Beka Beka, Jeremy Gelin, Enzo Le Fee, Teji Savanier*, Florian Thauvin*, Lucas Tousart.

Forwards: Andre-Pierre Gignac*, Randal Kolo Muani, Arnaud Nordin, Isaac Lihadji, Nathaniel Mbuku.


After finishing runners-up in 2016, Germany are looking to go one better this time around.

However, in a similar vein to France, Germany have faced a lot of resistance over call-ups, and so have been left with a weaker squad as a result.

German coach Stefan Kuntz, who was a pivotal figure in Germany's Euro '96 campaign, will lead the side, and will be heavily reliant on his over-23 players to provide much-needed quality.

Nadiem Amiri, Maximilian Arnold and Max Kruse make up Germany's three over-23 players, and while they may not be world-beaters, they provide the squad with some invaluable experience.

In their first fixture, they face an incredibly tough test against tournament favourites Brazil, but with Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia also in the group, they should ease their way to the knockout stages.


Goalkeepers: Svend Brodersen, Florian Muller, Luca Plogmann.

Defenders: Benjamin Henrichs, Amos Pieper, David Raum, Jordan Torunarigha, Felix Uduokhai, Joshua Vagnoman.

Midfielders: Nadiem Amiri*, Maximilian Arnold*, Niklas Dorsch, Ismail Jakobs, Eduard Lowen, Arne Maier, Anton Stach.

Forwards: Max Kruse*, Marco Richter, Cedric Teuchert.


After their success at the Copa America this summer, Argentina - gold medalists from 2004 and 2008 - will be confident of adding to their trophy haul at the Olympics.

While they may not have the privilege of fielding Lionel Messi any more, the South American side still boasts an abundance of talent, despite head coach Fernando Batista selecting just one over-23 player.

Thiago Almada is expected to shine for Argentina this summer
Thiago Almada is expected to shine for Argentina this summer

Midfield prospect Thiago Almada is sure to bring flair to the side, while Brighton's Alexis MacAllister will offer some Premier League interest in the centre of midfield.

Argentina kick off against Australia, where they are strong favourites at 4/7.


Goalkeepers: Joaquin Blazquez, Lautaro Morales, Jeremias Ledesma*.

Defenders: Hernan de la Fuente, Marcelo Herrera, Nehuen Perez, Leonel Mosevich, Facundo Medina, Francisco Ortega, Claudio Bravo.

Midfielders: Fausto Vera, Santiago Colombatto, Tomas Belmonte, Martin Payero, Thiago Almada, Esequiel Barco.

Forwards: Carlos Valenzuela, Pedro de la Vega, Alexis Mac Allister, Agustin Urzi, Adolfo Gaich, Ezequiel Ponce.

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