2024 Olympics: The Top Football Contenders 

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Football, also known as soccer, is the most widely watched sport globally, with millions of fans all over the world. The Olympic football tournaments attract a large audience and interest from fans worldwide. Brazil, the reigning Olympic champions, failed to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris after a loss to Argentina. As a result, sixteen countries can compete for the gold medal and emerge victorious this year. This article will explore the top contenders, the dark horses, and the players to watch. 

Top 5 Olympic Football Teams

The football tournament at the Summer Olympics will have 16 teams compete and split into four groups of four teams.


As the host nation for the 2024 Olympics, France automatically qualified for the football tournament—the French football team last secured gold in 1984 in Los Angeles. According to bookies included in the latest betting site reviews, France is the firm favourite with 10/11 odds to win their group. Retired football star turned coach for the French Olympic team, Thierry Henry, decided to include only players under 23, with a limit of three older players, which could include Mbappe, Giroud, and Griezmann. 


Argentina qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics by defeating Brazil 1-0 in the decisive South American qualifying match. Luciano Gondou scored the winning goal. Argentina has betting odds of 2/1 and is expected to win Group B. Argentina won two Olympic gold medals in men’s football in 2004 and 2008, with Lionel Messi leading the team in 2008.

New Zealand

New Zealand has qualified for the Olympic men’s football tournament on four occasions, the latest being in 2020. Their best result was reaching the quarterfinals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, the OlyWhites have been very successful, winning the competition 5 times, including 2023. This has allowed them to qualify for the Olympics on multiple occasions. As part of Group A, New Zealand’s odds are 5/1 at most gambling sites, and will come up against the host nation, France. Darren Bazeley coaches the team, and their captain is experienced defender Winston Reid. Some key players include striker Logan Rogerson, the team’s all-time top scorer with 14 goals.

United States

For the 2024 Olympics in Paris, the U.S. U-23 team has been drawn into Group A, where they will face the host nation France, New Zealand, and the winner of an intercontinental playoff between an Asian team and Guinea. Some key players expected to feature for the U.S. Olympic team include Bryan Reynolds, John Tolkin, Paxten Aaronson, and Diego Luna – all of whom are playing regularly for their club teams in MLS and Europe.


The Egypt national under-23 football team, nicknamed “The Pharaohs,” represents Egypt in international under-23 football competitions, focusing on qualifying for and competing in the Olympic Games. Egypt has a strong history in the Olympic football tournament, having qualified for it 13 times – the first being in 1920. 

Some key players expected to feature for Egypt at the 2024 Olympics include midfielder Ramadan Sobhi and forward Mostafa Mohamed. Egypt’s national under-23 team has a strong pedigree in Olympic football, and they will be looking to build on their recent Africa U-23 Cup of Nations triumph when they compete in Paris 2024.

The Dark Horses

While the favourite football teams command attention, two countries could possibly shake up the competition. Emerging football nations Mali and the Dominican Republic can add an element of unpredictability to the tournament.


The Mali U23 team has qualified for the Olympic Games on two occasions – in 2004 and 2024. Their best result was reaching the quarterfinals in 2004. Mali has a reputation for producing talented young footballers. The U23 team is part of this youth development pipeline and has access to some of the country’s top prospects. Mali is likely to have some up-and-coming talents that could make an impact at the 2024 Olympics. 

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic national under-23 football team has qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. They secured their spot by advancing to the final match of the 2022 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, where they defeated Guatemala on penalties after returning from a 2-0 deficit. 

This will be the first time the Dominican Republic has qualified for the Olympic men’s football tournament. The Dominican Republic squad for the 2024 Olympics has not been finalized yet, but key players from their U-20 team that qualified include goalkeeper Johan Guzmán, goalkeeper Daniel Campana, and defender Alessandro Baron.

Top Football Players to Watch

With sportsbooks buzzing with activity, and fans eagerly awaiting the chance to wager on their favorite team, the following football players will add a level of excitement to the world of sports betting:

Kylian Mbappe (France)

Kylian Mbappé, the star of Paris Saint-Germain and the French national team, is considered one of the best players in the world currently. He has expressed his intention to represent France at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. As a global superstar, his participation would be highly anticipated.

Ezequiel Fernandez (Argentina)

Ezequiel Fernandez is a highly-rated young midfielder who plays for the Argentine club Boca Juniors. The 21-year-old defensive midfielder is currently regarded as one of Argentina’s hottest prospects. He has been a regular for the U23 team in the 2024 CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament.

Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Arguably the greatest football player of all time, Lionel Messi needs no introduction. A firm favourite amongst sports bettors and fans alike, he carries the hopes of a nation on his shoulders as he looks to add Olympic gold to his array of accolades.

2024 Olympics: The Top Football Contenders 

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