Football at the Summer Olympics

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Football at the Summer Olympics
Football pictogram.svg
Governing body FIFA
Events 2 (men: 1; women: 1)
Games

Tournaments (menwomen)

Association football has been included in every Summer Olympic Games as a men's competition sport, except 1896 and 1932. Women's football was added to the official program in 1996.

History[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Football was not included on the program at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, as international football was in its infancy at the time. However, sources claim that an unofficial football tournament was organized during the first competition, in which an Athens XI lost to a team representing Smyrna (Izmir), then part of the Ottoman Empire.[1] According to a source, this is an error which has been perpetuated in multiple texts".[2]

Tournaments were played at the 1900 and 1904 games and the Intercalated Games of 1906, but these were contested by various clubs and scratch teams. Although the IOC considers the 1900 and 1904 tournaments to be official Olympic events, they are not recognized by FIFA; neither recognizes the Intercalated Games today. In 1906 teams from Great Britain, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and France withdrew from an unofficial competition and left Denmark, Smyrna (one Armenian, two Frenchmen and eight Britons), Athens and Thessaloniki to compete. Denmark won the final against Athens 9–0.

British successes[edit]

In the London Games of 1908 a proper international tournament was organised by the Football Association, featuring just six teams. The number of teams rose to eleven in 1912, when the competition was organised by the Swedish Football Association. Many of these early matches were unbalanced, as evidenced by high scoring games; two players, Sophus Nielsen in 1908 and Gottfried Fuchs in 1912, each scored ten goals in a single match. All players were amateurs, in accordance with the Olympic spirit, which meant that some countries could not send their full international team. The National Olympic Committee for Great Britain and Ireland asked the Football Association to send an English national amateur team. Some of the English members played with professional clubs, most notably Derby County's Ivan Sharpe, Bradford City F.C. Harold Walden and Chelsea's Vivian Woodward. England won the first two official tournaments convincingly, beating Denmark both times.

1920s and the rise of Uruguay[edit]

During the 1920 final, the Czechoslovakia national football team walked from the field of play in order to raise awareness of their displeasure regarding the refereeing of John Lewis and the militarised mood within the stadium in Antwerp. In the 1924 and 1928 Olympic games, the first South American teams entered the competition: Uruguay and Argentina. Uruguay won both Olympics and FIFA became conscious that the Olympic movement was not only hindering the ability of nations to participate on an equal footing but, given that the Olympics only permitted amateurs to participate, did not represent the true strength of the international game.

Olympics after the first World Cup[edit]

Following Henri Delaunay's proposal in 1929 to initiate a professional World Championship of Football, the sport was dropped from the 1932 Los Angeles Games in an attempt to promote the growing sport of American football in the United States. Football returned to controversy at the 1936 Berlin Games. The German organisers were intent on the return of the game to the Olympic movement since it guaranteed income into the organisation's coffers. The Italian team intimidated a referee. Peru scored a contested victory over Austria in overtime, with a fan invasion of the field at the very end. The Austrian team asked for the result to be annulled, and the game repeated. FIFA agreed, the Peruvian team refused and left the Olympics.[3][4]

As professionalism spread around the world, the gap in quality between the World Cup and the Olympics widened. The countries that benefited most were the Soviet Bloc countries of Eastern Europe, where top athletes were state-sponsored while retaining their status as amateurs. Between 1948 and 1980, 23 out of 27 Olympic medals were won by Eastern Europe, with only Sweden (gold in 1948 and bronze in 1952), Denmark (bronze in 1948 and silver in 1960) and Japan (bronze in 1968) breaking their dominance.

Changes and developments[edit]

For the 1984 Los Angeles Games, the IOC decided to admit professional players. FIFA still did not want the Olympics to rival the World Cup, so a compromise was struck that allowed teams from Africa, Asia, Oceania and CONCACAF to field their strongest professional sides, while restricting UEFA and CONMEBOL teams to players who had not played in a World Cup.

Since 1992 male competitors must be under 23 years old, and since 1996, players under 23 years old, with three over-23 year old players, are allowed per squad. The new format allows teams from around the world to compete equally, and African countries have taken particular advantage of this, with Nigeria and Cameroon winning in 1996 and 2000 respectively.

Because of the unusual format, several of the historically strongest men's national teams have unimpressive Olympic records. Uruguay won the tournament in their first two attempts, in 1924 and 1928, their only appearances before they qualified for the 2012 edition. Argentina won silver twice (1928 and 1996) before the 2004 tournament, but its appearance in Athens, in which it won the first gold medal (the second was won in Beijing in 2008), was only their seventh overall. Brazil's silver medals in the 1984, 1988 and 2012 editions were the best they had achieved until 2016's gold, and since professional athletes were allowed to compete, they failed to qualify in 1992 and 2004. Italy has only won the Olympic title once, in 1936, although it has also won two bronzes, and has the highest number of appearances in the tournament, at 15, with their last qualify in 2008. France has won the Olympic title only once (in 1984) and has failed to qualify since 1996. Germany's best result was a single bronze medal, in 1988 (as West Germany), and the reunified team did not make an Olympic appearance until 2016, where they won silver. Spain has won the gold medal only once, in 1992. It has also won 2 silver medals (in 1920 and 2000) but has failed to qualify several times.

British non-involvement[edit]

Football in the United Kingdom has no single governing body, and there are separate teams for the UK's four Home Nations: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Only the English Football Association (FA) is affiliated to the British Olympic Association (BOA), and the FA entered "Great Britain" teams to the football tournaments until 1972. In 1974, the FA abolished the distinction between "amateur" and "professional" football, and stopped entering the Olympics. Even though FIFA has allowed professionals at the Olympics since 1984, the FA did not re-enter, as the Home Nations feared that a united British Olympic team would set a precedent that might cause FIFA to question their separate status in other FIFA competitions and on the International Football Association Board.[5][6] When London was selected to host the 2012 Games, there was pressure on the English FA to exercise the host nation's automatic right to field a team.[7] In 2009 the plan agreed by the FA with the Welsh FA, Scottish FA and Irish FA was only to field English players;[8] however the BOA overruled this,[9] and ultimately there were Welsh players on both squads and Scots on the women's squad.[10][11] After the 2012 games, the FA decided that no team would be entered in subsequent men's tournaments, but was open to fielding a women's team again.[12]

Venues[edit]

Due to the number of large stadia required for the Olympic tournament, venues in distant cities – often more than 200 km (120 mi) away from the main host – are typically used for the football tournament. In an extreme example, two early-round venues for the 1984 Games were on the East Coast of the United States, well over 2,000 miles (3,200 km) from the host city of Los Angeles. The next Games held in the United States, the 1996 Games, were unique in that no matches were held in the host city of Atlanta; the nearest venue and the site of the finals was 65 miles (105 km) away on the University of Georgia campus in Athens. Counting the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, there are 121 venues that have hosted Olympic football, the most of any sport.

Edition of the Olympic Games City Stadium
Greece Athens 1896 No football tournament
France Paris 1900 Paris Vélodrome de Vincennes
United States Saint Louis 1904 St. Louis, Missouri Francis Field
United Kingdom London 1908 London White City Stadium
Sweden Stockholm 1912 Stockholm Stockholms Olympiastadion
Råsunda Stadium
Tranebergs Idrottsplats
Belgium Antwerp 1920 Antwerp Olympisch Stadion
Stadion Broodstraat
Brussels Stade de l’Union St. Gilloise
Ghent Stade d’A.A. La Gantoise
France Paris 1924 Paris Stade Olympique, Colombes
Stade Bergeyre
Stade de Paris, Saint-Ouen
Stade Pershing, Vincennes
Netherlands Amsterdam 1928 Amsterdam Olympisch Stadion
Harry Elte Stadium
United States Los Angeles 1932 No football tournament
Germany Berlin 1936 Berlin Olympiastadion
Poststadion, Tiergarten
Mommsenstadion, Charlottenburg
Hertha-BSC-Platz
United Kingdom London 1948 London Empire Stadium, Wembley
White Hart Lane, Tottenham
Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace
Craven Cottage, Fulham
Griffin Park, Brentford
Arsenal Stadium, Highbury
Lynn Road Stadium, Ilford
Green Pond Road Stadium, Walthamstow
Champion Hill, Dulwich
Brighton Goldstone Ground
Portsmouth Fratton Park
Finland Helsinki 1952 Helsinki Olympiastadion
Töölö Football Grounds
Turku Kupittaa Stadium
Tampere Ratina Stadion
Lahti Kisapuisto
Kotka Kotka Stadion
Australia Melbourne 1956 Melbourne Melbourne Cricket Ground
Olympic Park Stadium
Italy Rome 1960 Rome Stadio Flaminio
Florence Stadio Comunale
Grosseto Stadio Comunale
Livorno Stadio Ardenza
Pescara Stadio Adriatico
L'Aquila Stadio Comunale
Naples Stadio Fuorigrotta
Japan Tokyo 1964 Tokyo National Olympic Stadium
Prince Chichibu Memorial Field
Komazawa Stadium
Ōmiya Omiya Soccer Stadium
Yokohama Mitsuzawa Football Stadium
Mexico Mexico City 1968 Mexico City Estadio Azteca
Puebla Estadio Cuauhtémoc
Guadalajara Estadio Jalisco
León Estadio León
West Germany Munich 1972 Munich Olympiastadion
Augsburg Rosenaustadion
Ingolstadt ESV-Stadion
Regensburg Jahnstadion
Nuremberg Frankenstadion
Passau Drei Flüsse Stadion
Canada Montreal 1976 Montreal Olympic Stadium
Sherbrooke Municipal Stadium
Toronto Varsity Stadium
Ottawa Lansdowne Stadium
Soviet Union Moscow 1980 Moscow Lenin Stadium
Dynamo Stadium
Leningrad Kirov Stadium
Kiev Republican Stadium
Minsk Dinamo Stadium
United States Los Angeles 1984 Pasadena, California Rose Bowl
Boston, Massachusetts Harvard Stadium
Annapolis, Maryland Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Stanford, California Stanford Stadium
South Korea Seoul 1988 Seoul Seoul Olympic Stadium
Dongdaemun Stadium
Busan Busan Stadium
Daegu Daegu Stadium
Daejeon Daejeon Stadium
Gwangju Gwangju Stadium
Spain Barcelona 1992 Barcelona Camp Nou
Estadi de Sarrià
Sabadell Estadi de la Nova Creu Alta
Zaragoza Estadio La Romareda
Valencia Estadio Luis Casanova
United States Atlanta 1996 Athens, Georgia Sanford Stadium
Orlando, Florida Citrus Bowl
Birmingham, Alabama Legion Field
Miami, Florida Miami Orange Bowl
Washington, D.C. Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Australia Sydney 2000 Sydney Olympic Stadium
Sydney Football Stadium
Brisbane Brisbane Cricket Ground
Adelaide Hindmarsh Stadium
Canberra Bruce Stadium
Melbourne Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
Greece Athens 2004 Athens Athens Olympic Stadium
Karaiskakis Stadium
Patras Pampeloponnisiako Stadium
Volos Panthessaliko Stadium
Thessaloniki Kaftanzoglio Stadium
Heraklion Pankritio Stadium
China Beijing 2008 Beijing Beijing National Stadium
Workers Stadium
Tianjin Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium
Shanghai Shanghai Stadium
Qinhuangdao Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Center Stadium
Shenyang Shenyang Olympic Sports Center Stadium
United Kingdom London 2012 London Wembley Stadium
Glasgow Hampden Park
Cardiff Millennium Stadium
Coventry City of Coventry Stadium (Ricoh Arena)*
Manchester Old Trafford
Newcastle upon Tyne St James' Park*
Brazil Rio de Janeiro 2016 Rio de Janeiro Estádio do Maracanã
Estádio Olímpico João Havelange
São Paulo Arena Corinthians
Brasília Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha
Salvador Arena Fonte Nova*
Belo Horizonte Estádio Minaeirão
Manaus Arena da Amazônia
Japan Tokyo 2020 Tokyo Tokyo National Stadium
Tokyo Stadium
Yokohama Yokohama International Stadium
Saitama Saitama Stadium 2002
Miyagi Miyagi Stadium
Sapporo Sapporo Dome
  • City of Coventry Stadium & St. James Park were normally called Ricoh Arena & Sports Direct Arena, but because of the IOC's rules disallowing corporate sponsorship for event sites, they were renamed for the duration of the games.
  • Arena Fonte Nova is normally called Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, but because of the IOC's rules disallowing corporate sponsorship for event sites, the venue was renamed for the duration of the games.

Events[edit]

Event 96 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 Years
Men's event X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 26
Women's event X X X X X X 6
Events 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 32

Competition format[edit]

For both the men's and women's tournaments, the competition consists of a round-robin group stage followed by a knockout stage. Teams are placed into groups of 4 teams, with each team playing each other team in its group once. Teams earn 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss. The top two teams in each group (as well as the top two third-place finishers, in the women's tournament) advance to the knockout rounds. The knockout rounds are a single-elimination tournament consisting of quarterfinals, semifinals, and the gold and bronze medal matches.

Matches consist of two halves of 45 minutes each. During the knockout rounds, if the match is tied after 90 minutes, two 15-minute halves of extra time are played (extra time is skipped in favor of immediate penalty kicks in the bronze medal match if it is played on the same day in the same stadium as the gold medal match). If the score remains tied, penalty kicks are used to determine the winner.[13]

Participating nations[edit]

Men[edit]

Numbers refer to the final placing of each team at the respective Games.

UEFA
Nation 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 Years
Austria 6 Y Y Y 4
Belarus 10 1
Belgium 3 1 15 Y 4 5
Bulgaria 10 Y Y Y Y 5
Czech Republic 14 1
Czechoslovakia 9 Y Y Y Y Split into Slovakia and Czech Republic 5
Denmark 2 2 10 Y Y Y Y Y 8 9
East Germany[14] Y Y Y Y Merged with West Germany 4
Estonia Y 1
Finland 4 Y Y Y 4
France 2 5 4 5 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 5 12
Germany[15] 7 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 2 9
Great Britain 1 1 1 11 Y Y Y Y Y 5 10
Greece 13 Y 15 3
Hungary 5 13 Y Y Y Y Y Y 16 9
Ireland 7 Y 2
Israel Competed with Asia 2
Italy 8 5 6 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 12 5 3 5 15
Latvia 16 1
Lithuania Y 1
Luxembourg 12 11 Y Y Y Y 6
Netherlands 3 3 3 4 Y Y Y 7 8
Norway 9 7 Y Y Y 5
Poland Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
Portugal Y 4 14 6 4
Romania 14 Y Y 3
Russia 10 1
Serbia 12 1
Serbia and Montenegro 16 1
Slovakia 13 1
Soviet Union Y Y Y Y Y Y Split into 15 nations 6
Spain 2 Y Y Y Y Y Y 6 2 14 10
Sweden 4 11 6 3 Y Y Y Y Y 15 10
Switzerland 2 Y 13 3
Turkey Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
Yugoslavia 9 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Split into 6 nations 11
CONMEBOL
Nation 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 Years
Argentina Y Y Y 8 2 1 1 11 8
Brazil Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 3 7 3 2 1 13
Chile Y Y Y 3 4
Colombia Y Y Y Y 6 5
Paraguay Y 2 2
Peru Y Y 2
Uruguay 1 Y 9 3
Venezuela Y 1
CONCACAF
Nation 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 Years
Canada 1 Y Y 3
Costa Rica Y Y 8 3
Cuba Y Y 2
El Salvador Y 1
Guatemala Y Y Y 3
Honduras 10 16 7 4 4
Mexico Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7 =10 1 9 11
Netherlands Antilles Y 1
United States 2[16] 3 12 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 10 4 9 14
CAF
Nation 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 Years
Algeria Y 14 2
Cameroon Y 1 8 3
Egypt 8 8 4 Y Y Y Y 4 Y Y 8 11
Ivory Coast 6 1
Gabon 12 1
Ghana Y Y Y Y 8 9 6
Guinea Y 1
Mali 5 1
Morocco Y Y Y Y 16 =10 11 7
Nigeria Y Y Y 1 8 2 3 7
Senegal 6 - 1
South Africa 11 13 2
Sudan Y 1
Tunisia Y Y 14 12 4
Zambia Y Y 2
AFC
Nation 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 Years
Afghanistan Y 1
Australia Competed with Oceania 7 11 1
China Y 13 2
Chinese Taipei Y Y Y 3
India Y Y 4 Y 4
Indonesia Y 1
Iran Y Y Y 3
Iraq Y Y Y 4 12 5
Israel Y Y Competed with Europe 2
Japan Y Y Y Y 9 6 13 15 4 10 10
Kuwait Y Y 12 3
Malaysia Y 1
Myanmar Y 1
North Korea Y 1
Qatar Y Y 2
Saudi Arabia Y 15 2
South Korea Y Y Y Y Y 9 6 10 3 5 10
Syria Y 1
Thailand Y Y 2
United Arab Emirates 15 1
OFC
Nation 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 Years
Australia Y Y Y 13 15 7 AFC 6
Fiji 16 1
New Zealand 14 16 2
Total nations 3 2 5 11 14 22 17 16 18 25 11 16 14 16 16 13 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16

Women[edit]

Numbers refer to the final placing of each team at the respective Games. Host Nation is shown in bold.

Nation 96 00 04 08 12 16 Years
Argentina 11 1
Australia 7 5 7 3
Brazil 4 4 2 2 6 4 6
Cameroon 12 1
Canada 8 3 3 3
China 2 5 9 5 8 5
Colombia 11 11 2
Denmark 8 1
France 4 6 2
Germany 5 3 3 3 1 5
Great Britain 5 1
Greece 10 1
Japan 7 7 4 2 4
Mexico 8 1
New Zealand 10 8 9 3
Nigeria 8 6 11 3
North Korea 9 9 2
Norway 3 1 7 3
South Africa 10 10 2
Sweden 6 6 4 6 7 2 6
United States 1 2 1 1 1 5 6
Zimbabwe 12 1
Total nations 8 8 10 12 12 12

Men's tournament[edit]

Association Football at the Summer Olympics – Men's tournament
Founded 1900[17]
Region International (FIFA)
Number of teams 16 (from 6 confederations)
Current champions  Brazil
(1st title)
Most successful team(s)  Great Britain
 Hungary
(3 titles each)
2016 Summer Olympics

The qualifying tournament, like that for the World Cup, is organised along continental lines. Most continental confederations organise a special Under-23 qualifying tournament, although the European qualifiers are drawn from the finalists of the UEFA Under-21 Championship and South American qualifiers from the South American Youth Championship, which is a U-20 tournament. Teams participating in the preliminary and final competitions must be composed of U-23 players, with a maximum of three players who are older than U-23. For Rio 2016, U-23 players are born after January 1, 1993.[18]

For the 2016 Games, the number of places allocated to each continent was:

Women's tournament[edit]

Association Football at the Summer Olympics – Women's tournament
Founded 1996
Region International (FIFA)
Number of teams 12 (from 6 confederations)
Current champions  Germany
(1st title)
Most successful team(s)  United States
(4 titles)
2016 Summer Olympics

The women's tournament is contested between full national sides, with no age restrictions. One place is reserved for the host country. Of the remaining teams, as in World Cup contests a specific number of places are reserved for teams from each continental region; the European (UEFA) teams are chosen from the most successful European teams in the previous year's World Cup, whilst the other continental regions host their own qualifying tournaments in the build-up to the Olympics.

The first women's tournament was at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The United States won the gold medal, and picked up silver in 2000 after an extra time defeat by Norway. The finals of the next two tournaments, in 2004 and 2008, also went to extra time, with the U.S. defeating Brazil both times. In 2012 the U.S. won their fourth gold medal defeating Japan 2–1 in the final.

Allocation of places for each continent in the 2016 Games was:

Records[edit]

Denmark's Sophus Nielsen in the 1908 and 1912 hold the record for the most goals scored by a player in an all and single tournament, scoring 13 goals. The first official football tournament was held in London, England, 1908.

Neymar marked the fastest goal in a men's Olympic football match in history at 14 seconds in the semi-final match against Honduras on 17 August 2016.[19]

Goalscorers[edit]

The all-time top goalscorers with at least 8 goals (as of 1908)

14 goals
13 goals
12 goals
11 goals
10 goals
9 goals
8 goals

Men's results[edit]

Year Host Gold medal game Bronze medal game
Gold Score Silver Bronze Score 4th place
1896 Greece
Athens
No football tournament
1900
Details
France
Paris
United Kingdom
Great Britain
[20] France
France
Belgium
Belgium
[20] only three nations entered
1904
Details
United States
St. Louis
Canada
Canada
[21] United States
United States
United States
United States
[21] only three teams entered
1908
Details
United Kingdom
London
United Kingdom
Great Britain
2 – 0
Denmark

Netherlands
2 – 0
Sweden
1912
Details
Sweden
Stockholm
United Kingdom
Great Britain
4 – 2
Denmark

Netherlands
9 – 0 Russian Empire
Finland
1920
Details
Belgium
Antwerp

Belgium
[22]
Spain

Netherlands
[22]
France
1924
Details
France
Paris

Uruguay
3 – 0
Switzerland

Sweden
1 – 1
aet

Netherlands
Match replay: 3 – 1
1928
Details
Netherlands
Amsterdam

Uruguay
1 – 1
aet

Argentina

Italy
11 – 3
Egypt
Match replay: 2 – 1
1932 United States
Los Angeles
No football tournament
1936
Details
Germany
Berlin

Italy
2 – 1
aet

Austria

Norway
3 – 2
Poland
1948
Details
United Kingdom
London

Sweden
3 – 1
Yugoslavia

Denmark
5 – 3 United Kingdom
Great Britain
1952
Details
Finland
Helsinki

Hungary
2 – 0
Yugoslavia

Sweden
2 – 0 West Germany
West Germany
1956
Details
Australia
Melbourne

Soviet Union
1 – 0
Yugoslavia

Bulgaria
3 – 0
India
1960
Details
Italy
Rome

Yugoslavia
3 – 1
Denmark

Hungary
2 – 1
Italy
1964
Details
Japan
Tokyo

Hungary
2 – 1
Czechoslovakia
Germany
Germany[14]
3 – 1
United Arab Republic
1968
Details
Mexico
Mexico City

Hungary
4 – 1
Bulgaria

Japan
2 – 0
Mexico
1972
Details
Germany
Munich

Poland
2 – 1
Hungary

Soviet Union

East Germany
2 – 2[23]
aet
1976
Details
Canada
Montreal

East Germany
3 – 1
Poland

Soviet Union
2 – 0
Brazil
1980
Details
Soviet Union
Moscow

Czechoslovakia
1 – 0
East Germany

Soviet Union
2 – 0
Yugoslavia
1984
Details
United States
Los Angeles

France
2 – 0
Brazil

Yugoslavia
2 – 1
Italy
1988
Details
South Korea
Seoul

Soviet Union
2 – 1
aet

Brazil
West Germany
West Germany
3 – 0
Italy
1992
Details
Spain
Barcelona

Spain
3 – 2
Poland

Ghana
1 – 0
Australia
1996
Details
United States
Atlanta

Nigeria
3 – 2
Argentina

Brazil
5 – 0 Flag of Portugal.svg
Portugal
2000
Details
Australia
Sydney

Cameroon
2 – 2
asdet

Spain

Chile
2 – 0
United States
5 – 3 on penalty shootout
2004
Details
Greece
Athens

Argentina
1 – 0
Paraguay

Italy
1 – 0
Iraq
2008
Details
China
Beijing

Argentina
1 – 0
Nigeria

Brazil
3 – 0
Belgium
2012
Details
United Kingdom
London

Mexico
2 − 1
Brazil

South Korea
2 − 0
Japan
2016
Details
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro

Brazil
1 – 1
aet
Germany
Germany

Nigeria
3 − 2
Honduras
5 – 4 on penalty shootout
2020
Details
Japan
Tokyo

* Under-23 tournament since 1992.

Performances by countries for men[edit]

Below are the 38 nations that have reached at least the semifinal in the Summer Olympics finals.

Team Titles Runners-up Third place Fourth place Medals
 Hungary 3 (1952, 1964, 1968) 1 (1972) 1 (1960) 5
 Great Britain 3 (1900, 1908, 1912) 1 (1948) 3
 Argentina 2 (2004, 2008) 2 (1928, 1996) 4
 Russia2 2 (1956, 1988) 3 (1972, 1976, 1980) 5
 Uruguay 2 (1924, 1928) 2
 Brazil 1 (2016) 3 (1984, 1988, 2012) 2 (1996, 2008) 1 (1976) 6
 Serbia1 1 (1960) 3 (1948, 1952, 1956) 1 (1984) 1 (1980) 5
 Poland 1 (1972) 2 (1976, 1992) 1 (1936) 3
 Spain 1 (1992) 2 (1920, 2000) 3
 East Germany 1 (1976) 1 (1980) 2 (19644, 1972) 4
 Nigeria 1 (1996) 1 (2008) 1 (2016) 3
 France 1 (1984) 1 (1900) 1 (1920) 2
 Czech Republic3 1 (1980) 1 (1964) 2
 Italy 1 (1936) 2 (1928, 2004) 3 (1960, 1984, 1988) 3
 Sweden 1 (1948) 2 (1924, 1952) 1 (1908) 3
 Belgium 1 (1920) 1 (1900) 1 (2008) 2
 Mexico 1 (2012) 1 (1968) 1
 Cameroon 1 (2000) 1
 Canada 1 (1904) 1
 Denmark 3 (1908, 1912, 1960) 1 (1948) 4
 Germany4 5 1 (2016) 1 (19885) 1 (19525) 3
 United States 1 (1904) 1 (1904) 1 (2000) 2
 Bulgaria 1 (1968) 1 (1956) 2
 Paraguay 1 (2004) 1
 Austria 1 (1936) 1
  Switzerland 1 (1924) 1
 Netherlands 3 (1908, 1912, 1920) 1 (1924) 3
 Japan 1 (1968) 1 (2012) 1
 South Korea 1 (2012) 1
 Chile 1 (2000) 1
 Ghana 1 (1992) 1
 Norway 1 (1936) 1
 Egypt 2 (1928, 1964) 0
 Honduras 1 (2016) 0
 Iraq 1 (2004) 0
 Portugal 1 (1996) 0
 Australia 1 (1992) 0
 India 1 (1956) 0
 Finland 1 (1912) 0

1 As Yugoslavia.

2 As Soviet Union.

3 As Czechoslovakia.

4 As United Team of Germany.

5 As West Germany.

Men's top scorers by tournament[edit]

Year Player Goals
1900 France Gaston Peltier
United Kingdom John Nicholas
2
1904 Canada Alexander Hall
Canada Tom Taylor
3
1908 Denmark Sophus Nielsen 11
1912 Germany Gottfried Fuchs 10
1920 Sweden Herbert Karlsson 7
1924 Uruguay Pedro Petrone 8
1928 Argentina Domingo Tarasconi 9
1936 Italy Annibale Frossi 7
1948 Denmark John Hansen
Sweden Gunnar Nordahl
7
1952 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Rajko Mitić
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Branko Zebec
7
1956 India Neville D'Souza
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Todor Veselinović
Bulgaria Dimitar Milanov
4
1960 Denmark Harald Nielsen 8
1964 Hungary Ferenc Bene 12
1968 Japan Kunishige Kamamoto 7
1972 Poland Kazimierz Deyna 9
1976 Poland Andrzej Szarmach 6
1980 Soviet Union Sergei Andreev 5
1984 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Borislav Cvetković
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Stjepan Deverić
France Daniel Xuereb
5
1988 Brazil Romario 7
1992 Poland Andrzej Juskowiak 7
1996 Brazil Bebeto
Argentina Hernán Crespo
6
2000 Chile Iván Zamorano 6
2004 Argentina Carlos Tevez 8
2008 Italy Giuseppe Rossi 4
2012 Brazil Leandro Damião 6
2016 Germany Serge Gnabry
Germany Nils Petersen
6

Women's results[edit]

Year Host Gold medal game Bronze medal game
Gold Score Silver Bronze Score 4th place
1996
Details
United States
Atlanta

United States
2 – 1
China

Norway
2 – 0
Brazil
2000
Details
Australia
Sydney

Norway
3 – 2
asdet

United States

Germany
2 – 0
Brazil
2004
Details
Greece
Athens

United States
2 – 1
aet

Brazil

Germany
1 – 0
Sweden
2008
Details
China
Beijing

United States
1 – 0
aet

Brazil

Germany
2 – 0
Japan
2012
Details
United Kingdom
London

United States
2 – 1
Japan

Canada
1 – 0
France
2016
Details
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro

Germany
2 – 1
Sweden

Canada
2 – 1
Brazil
2020
Details
Japan
Tokyo

Performances by countries for women[edit]

Team Titles Runners-up Third place Fourth place
 United States 4 (1996, 2004, 2008, 2012) 1 (2000)
 Germany 1 (2016) 3 (2000, 2004, 2008)
 Norway 1 (2000) 1 (1996)
 Brazil 2 (2004, 2008) 3 (1996, 2000, 2016)
 Japan 1 (2012) 1 (2008)
 Sweden 1 (2016) 1 (2004)
 China PR 1 (1996)
 Canada 2 (2012, 2016)
 France 1 (2012)

Women's top scorers by tournament[edit]

Year Player Goals
1996 Norway Ann Kristin Aarønes
Norway Linda Medalen
Brazil Pretinha
4
2000 China Sun Wen 4
2004 Brazil Cristiane
Germany Birgit Prinz
5
2008 Brazil Cristiane 5
2012 Canada Christine Sinclair 6
2016 Germany Melanie Behringer 5

Medal table[edit]

Total[edit]

※ Countries ranked by total medals won (men's and women's) including unofficial (1900 and 1904).
※ Bronze medals shared in 1972 tournament

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 4 2 1 7
2  Hungary (HUN) 3 1 1 5
3  Great Britain (GBR) 3 0 0 3
4  Argentina (ARG) 2 2 0 4
5  Soviet Union (URS) 2 0 3 5
6  Uruguay (URU) 2 0 0 2
7  Brazil (BRA) 1 5 2 8
8  Yugoslavia (YUG) 1 3 1 5
9  Poland (POL) 1 2 0 3
 Spain (ESP) 1 2 0 3
11  United Team of Germany (EUA) /
 West Germany (FRG) /
 Germany (GER)
1 1 4 6
12  East Germany (GDR)[14] 1 1 2 4
 Sweden (SWE) 1 1 2 4
14  Nigeria (NGR) 1 1 1 3
15  Czechoslovakia (TCH) 1 1 0 2
 France (FRA) 1 1 0 2
17  Canada (CAN) 1 0 2 3
 Italy (ITA) 1 0 2 3
 Norway (NOR) 1 0 2 3
20  Belgium (BEL) 1 0 1 2
21  Cameroon (CMR) 1 0 0 1
 Mexico (MEX) 1 0 0 1
23  Denmark (DEN) 0 3 1 4
24  Bulgaria (BUL) 0 1 1 2
 Japan (JPN) 0 1 1 2
26  Switzerland (SUI) 0 1 0 1
 Austria (AUT) 0 1 0 1
 China (CHN) 0 1 0 1
 Paraguay (PAR) 0 1 0 1
30  Netherlands (NED) 0 0 3 3
31  Ghana (GHA) 0 0 1 1
 Chile (CHI) 0 0 1 1
 South Korea (KOR) 0 0 1 1
Total 32 32 33 97

Men's medal table[edit]

※ Countries ranked by total medals won including unofficial (1900 and 1904).
※ Bronze medals shared in 1972 tournament

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Hungary (HUN) 3 1 1 5
2  Great Britain (GBR) 3 0 0 3
3  Argentina (ARG) 2 2 0 4
4  Soviet Union (URS) 2 0 3 5
5  Uruguay (URU) 2 0 0 2
6  Brazil (BRA) 1 3 2 6
7  Yugoslavia (YUG) 1 3 1 5
8  Poland (POL) 1 2 0 3
 Spain (ESP) 1 2 0 3
10  East Germany (GDR) 1 1 2 4
11  Nigeria (NGR) 1 1 1 3
12  Czechoslovakia (TCH) 1 1 0 2
 France (FRA) 1 1 0 2
14  Sweden (SWE) 1 0 2 3
 Italy (ITA) 1 0 2 3
16  Belgium (BEL) 1 0 1 2
17  Canada (CAN) 1 0 0 1
 Cameroon (CMR) 1 0 0 1
 Mexico (MEX) 1 0 0 1
20  Denmark (DEN) 0 3 1 4
21  United Team of Germany (EUA) /
 West Germany (FRG) /
 Germany (GER)
0 1 1 2
22  United States (USA) 0 1 1 2
 Bulgaria (BUL) 0 1 1 2
24  Switzerland (SUI) 0 1 0 1
 Austria (AUT) 0 1 0 1
 Paraguay (PAR) 0 1 0 1
27  Netherlands (NED) 0 0 3 3
28  Norway (NOR) 0 0 1 1
 Japan (JPN) 0 0 1 1
 Ghana (GHA) 0 0 1 1
 Chile (CHI) 0 0 1 1
 South Korea (KOR) 0 0 1 1
Total 26 26 27 79

Women's medal table[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 4 1 0 5
2  Germany (GER) 1 0 3 4
3  Norway (NOR) 1 0 1 2
4  Brazil (BRA) 0 2 0 2
5  China (CHN) 0 1 0 1
 Japan (JPN) 0 1 0 1
 Sweden (SWE) 0 1 0 1
8  Canada (CAN) 0 0 2 2
Total 6 6 6 18

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goldblatt, David. The Ball Is Round : A Global History of Football. Penguin Books. p. 243. ISBN 978-0-14-101582-8. 
  2. ^ Mallon, Bill; Widlund, Ture (1998). The 1896 Olympic Games. Results for All Competitors in All Events, with Commentary. Jefferson: McFarland. p. 118. ISBN 0-7864-0379-9. 
  3. ^ The forgotten story of ... football, farce and fascism at the 1936 Olympics
  4. ^ "Controversia – Berlín 36. Un mito derrumbado (The Berlin '36 Controversy. A myth debunked.)" (in Spanish). Larepublica.com.pe. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  5. ^ http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/news.cfm?newsid=4029&pageid=155&back=1
  6. ^ http://www.newsletter.co.uk/sport/YOUR-VIEWS-Olympic-football-threat.4327759
  7. ^ "Brown pays tribute to GB success". BBC News. 24 August 2008. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Nations pave way for 2012 GB team". BBC Sport. 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  9. ^ "London 2012 Olympics: Gareth Bale and non-English players have 'legal right' to play for Team GB". Daily Telegraph. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "Going for gold: Team GB Pearce reveals 18-man squad for London Olympics". Daily Mail. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "So much for Team GB... Powell defends nearly all-English women's football squad". Daily Mail. 26 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Kelso, Paul (14 August 2012). "British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt criticises Football Association for lack of support". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  13. ^ Regulations for the Olympic Football Tournaments
  14. ^ a b c The East German team represented the United Team of Germany in 1964, winning the bronze medal.
  15. ^ The team represented the United Team of Germany in 1956, and the Federal Republic of Germany (i.e., West Germany) in 1972, 1984 and 1988, and winning the bronze medal in 1988.
  16. ^ The United States had two of the three teams at the 1904 Games, taking the silver and bronze medals.
  17. ^ The 1900 and 1904 tournaments, they are not recognized by FIFA. The competition has been held regularly, except 1932. Since 1992 compete exclusively the U23 national teams.
  18. ^ "REGULATIONS for the Olympic Football Tournaments" (PDF). 
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ a b The 1900 tournament was originally a pair of demonstration matches between the three teams, but has subsequently been upgraded to official status by the IOC with medals attributed to the teams based upon the match results.
  21. ^ a b The 1904 tournament was originally a set of demonstration matches between the three teams (two from the United States), but has subsequently been upgraded to official status by the IOC with medals attributed to the teams based upon the round-robin results.
  22. ^ a b In 1920, Czechoslovakia abandoned the final match against Belgium after 40 minutes with the latter up 2–0. They were disqualified, and a mini-tournament to figure out the other medalists was held, with Spain beating the Netherlands for second place 3–1.
  23. ^ In 1972, the third place match between the Soviet Union and East Germany was a 2–2 tie after extra time had expired. Both teams were awarded bronze medals.

External links[edit]