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It’s no secret that soccer is one of the most popular and practiced sports in the world. With origins dating back to ancient civilizations such as China, Greece and Rome, where ball games were played, the sport has been an Olympic discipline for many decades. Today we’re going to tell you everything we know about the biggest names in U23 soccer today!

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biggest names in U23 soccer today

See the biggest names in U23 soccer today!

Biggest names in U23 Soccer today: historical context

Modern soccer began to take shape in England in the 19th century. In 1863, the Football Association (FA) was founded, establishing the rules that differentiate soccer from other ball sports, such as rugby.

The U23 category in men’s soccer has emerged as a way of promoting young talent and preparing them for competition at professional and international levels;

The introduction of under-23 tournaments has allowed young players to gain competitive experience, facilitating their transition to the senior national teams and elite clubs.

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Biggest names in U23 Soccer today: competition rules 

U23 soccer competitions follow the general rules of soccer, established by FIFA;

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However, there are some specifics for under-23 tournaments, especially the Olympic Games, which limit the age of players to 23, with the exception of up to three over-age players allowed per team.

The matches are played in two 45-minute halves, with a 15-minute break;

In the event of a draw in knockout games, the match can go to extra time (two 15-minute halves) and, if necessary, a penalty shootout to decide the winner.

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U23 soccer as a showcase for the professionals

U23 soccer is seen as an important step in the transition of players from the youth ranks to professional soccer, helping them adapt to the high level of competition and pressure.

Taking part in international tournaments gives young players the opportunity to be observed by clubs and scouts from all over the world, potentially opening doors to international careers.

Many famous players began their careers in U23 tournaments before making a name for themselves at senior level;

For example, Lionel Messi and Neymar took part in the Olympic Games before becoming global stars.

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The biggest names in U-23 Soccer today (world)

Pedri (Spain)

A Barcelona midfielder, Pedri is widely recognized for his vision, technique and maturity, despite his young age. He has already excelled in competitions such as Euro 2020 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Jude Bellingham (England)

A Real Madrid midfielder, Bellingham has impressed with his skill, strength and ability to score goals, and is a key player for both his club and the England national team.

Ansu Fati (Spain)

A Barcelona striker, Fati is known for his speed and finishing ability. He has been a promising prospect since his first team debut and has the potential to become one of the best players in the world.

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The biggest names in U23 Soccer today (Brazil)

Gabriel Martinelli

An Arsenal striker, Martinelli is known for his speed, dribbling and ability to score goals. He has excelled in the Premier League and is an important member of Brazil’s U-23 team.

Matheus Cunha

A striker for Wolverhampton, Cunha was one of Brazil’s key players in winning the gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, showing his finishing ability and vision of the game.


A striker for Manchester United, Antony is known for his refined technique, dribbling and ability to create moves. He has excelled for both his club and the U-23 national team, showing himself to be a promising talent for the future of Brazilian soccer.

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Which countries have the best chance of medaling at the 2024 Olympics? 

The countries with the best chances of medaling in men’s soccer at the Paris 2024 Olympics include several traditional teams, based on their recent performances and rankings.

  1. France: As the host country, France is automatically qualified and has a strong record in international competitions. The French national team is known for its young talent and can count on players over the permitted age limit, further strengthening its team.
  2. Argentina: Argentina is always a strong contender, having won gold in 2004 and 2008. The team has a solid base of young talent and is considered one of the favorites.
  3. Germany: Germany has a strong youth development program and a rich history in soccer, making it always a team to watch in competitions such as the Olympics.
  4. Japan: Japan has invested significantly in its youth soccer program and has performed impressively in recent competitions, including a fourth-place finish at Tokyo 2020.

These countries are considered the favorites, but surprises can always happen in international tournaments, especially at the Olympics, where the format and specific rules can influence the results.

Brazil missed out on Paris 2024 and is therefore unfortunately not among the medal favorites for this year;

Despite this, our national team has a history at the Olympic Games: we won two gold medals in men’s soccer at the Olympics, in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro and 2020 in Tokyo.

Brazil has also won three silver medals, in 1984 in Los Angeles, 1988 in Seoul and 2012 in London.

The country also has two bronze medals, won in 1996 in Atlanta and 2008 in Beijing.

Brazil’s medals in Olympic men’s soccer

  • Gold:
    • 2016 (Rio de Janeiro)
    • 2020 (Tokyo)
  • Silver:
    • 1984 (Los Angeles)
    • 1988 (Seoul)
    • 2012 (London)
  • Bronze:
    • 1996 (Atlanta)
    • 2008 (Beijing)

What did you think of getting to know the biggest names in U23 Football today? Learn about more Olympic sports:

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