Which superstars are playing in the 2021 Olympics soccer?
With this summer’s soccer tournaments drawing to a close, the eyes of the footballing world are turning to Tokyo 2020 to get their football fix.
Some of the worlds biggest stars will clash as 16 teams for both the men’s and the women’s soccer go head to head. Here are some of the biggest players who will be lighting up our screens.
Tokyo 2020: top soccer stars to watch
Ezequiel Barco, 22 years old, Atalanta United
The tricky Argentine winger became the most expensive MLS player of all time when he made the move from Independiente to Atlanta United in 2018. Since his debut he has played 72 times for the five stripes and scored 11 goals. He is yet to make an appearance for the senior Argentine team but has represented the under-20s squad 8 times and he will be hoping his performances in Tokyo give him a chance for a full cap in the future.
Dani Alves, 38 years old, Santos
The Veteran full-back currently plays in his native Brazil, where he plays for Santos. Previously, he played a starring role for Barcelona where he won six league titles and three Champion’s Leagues in just eight years. He also enjoyed spells at Sevilla, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain.
Formiga, 43 years old, São Paolo
Formiga holds many records for her incredible service to football. Since her first game for her youth club São Paolo in 1993, she has appeared in every incarnation of the Olympics, since footballs entry as a sport in 1996, and a record seven appearances at FIFA Women’s World Cups. She currently has 200 appearances for the Brazilian national team.
Marta, 35 years old, Orlando Pride
Often regarded as one of the best female footballers of all time, Marta has scored a staggering 109 goals in 159 international matches. She has won numerous awards: six-time FIFA World Player of the Year, Women’s World Cup Golden Boot and is a three-time member of the FIFPro World XI. She also had the honour of being the Brazilian flagbearer at Rio 2016.
Richarlison, 24 years old, Everton
The quick Brazilian winger has been heavily linked to a high-profile move to Real Madrid in recent day and his performances for Everton in the last few seasons have been of top quality, scoring 42 goals in all competitions in the last four years. He is also a regular in the senior Brazil team having played 31 games since his debut and has the final of the Copa America to play before heading to Tokyo.
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Christine Sinclair, 38 years old, Portland thorns
The captain of both her club and national team, Sinclair has enjoyed an incredible career and has amassed 299 international appearances at time of publication, with her first appearance for Canada in 2000. At London 2012 she scored a hat-trick against the US in the semi-finals and picked up Olympic bronze medals in London 2012 and Rio 2016. She has also been nominated for FIFA World Player of the Year seven times.
Steph Houghton, 33 years old, Manchester City
Named in the team of the tournament at London 2012, the England national team captain will be leading Great Britain out after the team missed Rio 2016. A five-time Women’s Super League winner, Houghton has the experience and quality to drive England through the tournament.
Marco Asensio, 25 years old, Real Madrid
Despite an injury disrupted 2019-20 season where he made just 10 appearances in all competitions, Asensio played an important role in the 2020-21 season where he played nearly all of Real Madrid’s league games as they were pipped to La Liga by local rivals Atletico Madrid. One of Spain’s three over-24-year-old selections, Asensio will be hoping to show why he should be recalled to the full national squad.
Pedri, 18 years old, Barcelona
Despite his young age of just 18, Pedri has been a revelation for both Barcelona and Spain this season. Signed for a nominal $6.9 million dollars in 2020, he has played more minutes for Barcelona than any other player this season and also played the most minutes of any Spanish player at this year’s European Championships, where he helped Spain reach the semi-finals. Definitely a player that will be exciting to watch and there is no doubt he is a star of the future.
Carli Lloyd, 38 years old, NJ/NY Gotham FC
Alongside Morgan, Lloyd is one of the most recognisable faces in women’s soccer. With over 300 international appearances, she has been a veteran for the US since 2005 and she has scored 125 goals at international level. She has also won gold at two Olympics, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and she will be hoping to add a third later this month.
Alex Morgan, 32 years old, Orlando Pride
Named one of TIME magazine’s most influential people in the world in 2019, Alex Morgan has been the poster girl of women’s soccer for a generation. Besides her accolades outside of football, she has co-captained the USWNT as well as scoring 110 international goals in 180 games, all in just 11 years. In terms of Olympic honours, she won gold with the US at London 2012.