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Football at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games

2016 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games


Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date Started: August 3, 2016
Date Finished: August 20, 2016
Events: 2

Participants: 473 (270 men and 203 women) from 23 countries
Youngest Participant: AUS Ellie Carpenter (16 years, 98 days)
Oldest Participant: BRA  Formiga (38 years, 154 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 106 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): GER Germany (2 medals)


Once again 16 men’s and 12 women’s team took part, with a total of 58 matches being played (32 men, 26 women). Two countries made their football début in 2016: Fiji (men) and Zimbabwe (women). Apart from hosts Brazil, the only other nations to compete in both the men’s and women’s tournaments were Colombia, Germany, South Africa and Sweden. South Korea were appearing in their eighth consecutive Olympics whilst Brazil’s men were appearing for the 11th time. As at previous Games, male players had to be under the age of 23 on or after 1 January 2016, although each country was allowed three over-age players. There was no age limit on female players.

Because of the size of Brazil, matches were played at venues spread out over the vast country, including the Arena da Amazônia at Manaus, the capital of the Amazon Rain Forest region, which was over 1,700 miles from Rio. The other venues were Mineirão (Belo Horizonte), Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha (Brasilia), Arena Fonte Nova (Salvador), Arena Corinthians (São Paulo), Estádio Olímpico João Havelange (Rio de Janeiro) and the iconic Maracanã (also Rio de Janeiro). All except Estádio Olímpico hosted FIFA World Cup Games in 2014. No stadium in Olympic history has housed a bigger crowd than the Maracanã did for the final game of the 1950 FIFA World Cup between Brazil and Uruguay, when 199,854 filled the stadium despite efforts to restrict the maximum to 150,000. The capacity in 2016 was more than 120,000 fewer than that record attendance in 1950. For the first time, goal-line technology using Hawkeye was used at the Olympics and a fourth substitute was allowed, but only if a game went into extra-time.

In the early part of the competition it looked as though Brazil were going to miss out on that elusive medal, but they came good as the tournament wore on, as did their star [Neymar]. In an end-to-end final against Germany, Neymar became a national hero when he converted the match-winning penalty in the shoot-out to win gold, adding to Brazil’s five silver and one bronze medal from previous Games. For the German men, they are still looking for their first Olympic title, but their women compensated by beating Sweden to win their first women’s gold, after three previous bronze medals. For the beaten finalists Sweden, it was their first women’s medal, while Canada won the bronze medal for the second consecutive Games. The big story of the women’s tournament was the United States’ failure to reach the final for the first time since women’s football was introduced into the Olympic programme at Atlanta in 1996. They were eliminated by Sweden in the quarter-finals in the first women’s Olympic match to be decided on penalties.


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men's Football BRA Brazil GER Germany NGR Nigeria
Women's Football GER Germany SWE Sweden CAN Canada