Olympic football tournament: Stars, schedule and venues

Global stars like Mohamed Salah, Sergio Ramos and Kylian Mbappe courted by their federations to make a difference at Tokyo 2020.

By Andrew Binner ·

From Cristiano Ronaldo to Lionel Messi and Marta, some of football's finest ever players have graced the Olympic stage.

And Tokyo 2020 won't be any different, with many stars of the sport rumoured to feature in Japan.

Men's football teams must be comprised of players under the age of 23, apart from three players who can be any age.

As such, federations are courting global stars like Mohamed Salah and Sergio Ramos in order to bolster their ranks with some serious firepower, and much-needed experience.

Elsewhere, World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe has been pre-selected for France on the initial 80-man list for the Games, according to French Football Federation (FFF) president Noe Le Graet.

Spanish football legends Ramos and Gerard Pique both voiced their desire to take part in the next summer Olympics, with the aim of becoming the first European players to win the World Cup, Continental Championship and the Olympics.

UEFA Champions League winner Salah has been called-up as part of an expanded list of 50 players, Egypt coach Shawky Gharib told Reuters in February.

Real Madrid teammates Vinicius Jr. and Reinier were named in a formidable-looking Brazil team.

The final list will be submitted in June.

There are no age restrictions in women's Olympic football, meaning the likes of Cristiane, Megan Rapinoe, and Vivianne Miedema could also be lighting up the pitches in Japan.


23 Jul - 8 Aug

Tokyo 2020 | Olympic Games


Olympic football memories

Who can forget the moment Neymar scored the winning penalty at the Rio 2016 final, sending Brazil into ecstasy?

Carlos Tevez blasted Argentina to gold with eight goals at Athens 2004, while Alex Morgan was the heartbeat of USA's London 2012-winning side.

Brazilian legend Cristiane's goals helped Brazil to two Olympic silver medals, and Ryan Giggs sprinkled some star dust on Great Britain's 2012 team.

Andrea Pirlo led 4-time World Cup winners Italy to bronze at Athens 2004, their first Olympic medal since 1936.

The chance of winning Olympic gold provides a unique incentive for these stars that money can't buy, and true to form, Tokyo 2020 is set to host another mouthwatering lineup of football talent.


United States of America
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Number of medals

1 Olympic medals


Olympic Games

2 Olympic Games

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Brazil's Neymar scores the final penalty in the shoot-out against Germany, ...

Schedule and venues

Men's competition

23-29 July: Four groups of four teams play each other, with top two finishers in each group qualifying for knockouts. (Sapporo Dome, Tokyo Stadium, Ibaraki Kashima Stadium, International Stadium Yokohama, Saitama Stadium, Miyagi Stadium)

1 August: Quarter-finals (Miyagi Stadium, Ibaraki Kashima Stadium, Saitama Stadium, International Stadium Yokohama)

4 August: Semi-finals (Ibaraki Kashima Stadium/Saitama Stadium)

7 August: Bronze medal match (Saitama Stadium)

8 August: Final (International Stadium Yokohama)

Women's competition

22-28 July: Three groups of four teams play each other, with the top two in each group + next two best finishers qualifying for knockouts. (Sapporo Dome, Miyagi Stadium, Tokyo Stadium, Saitama Stadium, Ibaraki Kashima Stadium, International Stadium Yokohama)

31 July: Quarter-finals (Miyagi Stadium, Ibaraki Kashima Stadium, Saitama Stadium, International Stadium Yokohama)

3 August: Semi-finals (Ibaraki Kashima Stadium/International Stadium Yokohama)

6 August: Bronze medal match (Ibaraki Kashima Stadium)

7 August: Final (Olympic Stadium)