Every four years, the Summer Olympics are being held. And that means there is Olympic Football.
Now the squads for the Olympic football tournament are bounded by rules. For example, players under the age of 23 are allowed to enter the Olympics. Per squad, three exceptions can be made.
Back in 1896, football was not an Olympic sport. The IOC considers the 1900 and 1904 Olympics official events, while FIFA did not recognize the tournaments. Back then, there were club teams participating.
The format of the Olympic football games is a Round-Robin group stage and, afterwards, a knockout stage. The teams are divided into groups of four teams. Every team will face the others in the same group once. Just like in the World Cup, numbers one and two will proceed to the knockout stage. The two best numbers three will also advance to the women’s tournament.
Every continent is allowed to have a certain number of teams participating in the Olympic Football Tournament. Europe has four spots, just like Asia, while Africa has three. South and North America have two places, and Oceania has only one spot to fill.
Hungary and Great Britain are the two nations having won three gold medals at the Olympic games. Brazil is the current champion because it won the Olympic tournament’s last edition in 2020. Brazil, Argentina, the Soviet Union, and Uruguay won the Olympics twice. Yugoslavia, Spain, Poland, East Germany, Nigeria, France, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Sweden, Mexico, Belgium, Canada, and Cameroon all won the tournament once.
Ferenc Bene scored the most goals in one single Olympic tournament with his 12 goals in 1964. In second place comes Sophus Nielsen with 11 goals in 1908, and Gottfried Fuchs completes the top three with ten goals in 1912. Richarlison scored five goals in 2020. Therefore, he is the top scorer in 2020.
Sophus Nielsen and Antal Dunai scored 13 goals in total and are the all-time top scorers at the Olympic Football tournament. Ferenc Bene scored 12 goals in total and is the number three.
Women’s football was added to the Olympic programme in 1996. The women do not have restrictions based on age like the men’s tournament has. Teams are chosen based on their success in the last World Cup. Besides that, there is always one spot reserved for the host country. The United States is the record holder for most championships at the Olympic Football tournament. They won the title four times, while Germany, Canada, and Norway won the tournament once. What is interesting to mention as well is that the United States has won the title four times but has not a single top scorer. The last edition’s top scorer was Vivianne Miedema, who scored ten times. This is a record for most goals in a single Women’s Olympic tournament.
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