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A number of top young talents will be participating in the biggest sporting event on the planet.

16 teams will compete at the football event when the Tokyo Olympics begins. The event will feature some of the most successful nations in the sport, who will be highlighting many upcoming stars. A number of top footballers will also be part of the Tokyo Olympics.

The age limit to participate at the Olympics in football has been capped at 24 years (only three players above 24 are eligible per squad). Therefore, plenty of young talents will lead their nation and will join the top footballers in the quest for gold at Tokyo Olympics. Some players in these teams have already made their name at the club level, while others are on the cusp of making big moves.

Let’s look at the top 10 footballers participating at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

10. Eric Bailly

Eric Bailly has already represented his country 38 times. Bailly won the African Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast in 2015. He has also won the Carabao Cup and the Europa League with Manchester United.

Bailly would be one of the important components in Ivory Coast’s defence and would be key to their long run in the tournament. His performances for Ivory Coast could also open the door for more chances with Manchester United, where he has struggled for game time.

9. Takefusa Kubo

Real Madrid winger Kubo has already won 11 caps for Japan, despite turning only 20 recently. The diminutive winger was part of the La Masia, before going back to Japan and joining Real Madrid later. He has shown glimpses of his potential during loan spells at Mallorca and Getafe.

Kubo will lead the charge for the hosts at the quadrennial event. A lot of eyes will be focused on his performance and could also influence his chance of representing Los Blancos in the upcoming season.

Also Read: Top 10 female footballers to watch out for at the Tokyo Olympics

8. Gabriel Martinelli

Top footballers Tokyo Olympics
Gabriel Martinelli has scored one goal in five appearances for the Brazil U-23 team (Courtesy: Twitter)

Dubbed by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as the “talent of the century”, Gabriel Martinelli is one of the brightest attacking prospects at Arsenal. The talented forward possesses pace and excellent dribbling and crossing capabilities.

Despite enduring a tough time with injuries, Martinelli has always made a difference whenever called upon. He will now look to certify his credentials as a top talent at the Olympics. Martinelli will form an exciting attacking partnership with Richarlison as Brazil eye a second gold medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

7. Eric Garcia

Eric Garcia made his dream switch from Manchester City to FC Barcelona ahead of Euro 2020. He was selected for the Spain squad, which reached the semifinals of the continental tournament.

At Euro 2020, Garcia finished with a passing accuracy of 97%, the fourth-highest in the tournament and the highest in his side. He also averaged 4.3 ball recoveries per game, which shows his all-around capability on and off the ball.

Garcia will look to continue his form at the Olympics leading his nation’s defence. His performance could also lead to him becoming a mainstay at the FC Barcelona squad.

6. Franck Kessie

Franck Kessie will have to play a major role for Ivory Coast to go the distance (Courtesy: Sempremilan)

The AC Milan midfielder has turned into one of the most efficient defensive midfielders in Europe. Despite being only 24, Kessie has made 48 appearances for Ivory Coast, scoring four goals. Kessie has also represented AC Milan on 184 occasions, scoring 30 goals in the process.

A strong player and set-piece taker, Kessie will be the box-to-box presence, who will be integral to Ivory Coast’s plans at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

5. Richarlison

Richarlison featured for the Selecao in the recently concluded Copa America 2021, where he scored one goal in their run to the final. The Everton attacker is a treat to watch when he is at his best. A good performance in the Olympics will allow Richarlison to put the heartbreak of the Copa America 2021 final defeat behind him.

4. Pau Torres

Pau Torres played six games for Spain at Euro 2020 and assisted two goals (Courtesy: UEFA)

The Villareal defender had a dream season for both club and country. Torres led Villareal to the Europa League title, their first-ever continental trophy. He completed 95% of his passes and made an average of close to five ball recoveries per game as part of the Spain squad at the Euros.

Torres possesses an accurate ball-playing ability as well as positional awareness. His performance will be keenly watched by Manchester United and Real Madrid, who are competing for his signature.

3. Dani Olmo

The RB Leipzig winger showed glimpses of his potential in the semi-final against Italy at the Euros. The 23-year-old has already represented Spain on 16 occasions. Olmo provided three assists in five games at Euro 2020.

Despite finishing only 77% of his passes, the La Masia graduate possesses an enviable passing range and creative ability. Olmo covered an average of 8.5 km/ game at the Euros, showing his versatility and strength. Olmo will once again be an integral part of Spain’s midfield in the tournament.

2. Pedri

Pedri was awarded the Best Young Player of the Tournament award Euro 2020. It provided ample evidence of his class and skill. Pedri was perhaps Spain’s most influential player, despite being only 18. He completed 92% of his passes, which helped Spain in transition and on the counter-attack.

Pedri possesses maturity and calmness on the ball beyond his age. He will look to continue his great form and help his side win the gold medal, having faced disappointment at the Euro semifinals. He will be one of the top footballers taking part at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

1. Dani Alves

By far the most experienced and most successful player on this list, Dani Alves is the most decorated player in football history with 42 titles to his name. One of the best right-backs of all time, Alves will feature in his eighth major international tournament for the Selecao.

He has featured for Brazil 118 times, lifting the Confederations Cup and the Copa America title twice with his nation. He is also the oldest player to feature at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The reigning champions will count on Dani Alves’ experience to lead them to gold once again.

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