Which players are in action at the Tokyo Olympics 2021 football tournament? From Pedri to Gabriel Martinelli

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 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

This summer 16 men’s sides and 12 women’s teams will compete in the football competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

But how many of the world’s best players will be on show? There’s no GB squad in the men’s competition but Steph Houghton and Co will represent the nations in the women’s game.

There are no age restrictions for players in the women’s tournament but men’s squads are restricted to players under 24 years of age - with three overage players allowed.

Here’s a rundown of some of the big names on show.

Men’s tournament


Spain mean business. As well as first-choice goalkeeper from their Euro 2020 squad, Unai Simon, they have selected one of the players of the tournament in 18-year-old Pedri.

Will Pedri be one of the standout players again? (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Will Pedri be one of the standout players again? (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Dani Ceballos, on loan with Arsenal last season, is also in along with Real Madrid attacker Marco Asensio and Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal. It’s a very strong squad.


Brazil won the gold medal on home turf in 2016 and have again named a strong-looking squad.

Neymar is not involved but Everton’s Richarlison, Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli and Matheus Cunha of Hertha Berlin provide some attacking force.

Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz provides some crunch in the middle and veteran Dani Alves is an inspired choice as an overage player.

New Zealand

The Kiwis have selected Burnley striker Chris Wood and former West Ham defender Winston Reid in their squad.


There’s no Lionel Messi or any of the other big hitters, but Brighton playmaker Alexis Mac Allister will be looking to make his mark.

Women’s tournament

There are plenty of familiar faces in the GB squad, with England captain Steph Houghton and Wales skipper Sophie Ingle in.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Scotland pair Caroline Weir and Kim Little are the only other non-English players in the 18-strong squad.

Super League player of the year Fran Kirby is included and veteran midfielder Jill Scott is one of 11 Manchester City players called up.

Brazil legend Marta will play in her fifth Olympics, while the USA team is stocked with household names in the form of Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan.

When are the matches being played?

All times BST

Team GB kick the competition off when they face Chile in Sapporo on Wednesday, July 21 (8.30am), while the men’s tournament starts a day later.

The women’s final take place on Friday, August 6 (3am) while the men go for gold on Saturday, August 7 (12.30pm)

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