Olympic Football: Nigeria Success, Brazil Failure Plus 15 Fun Facts

Olympic Football: Nigeria Success, Brazil Failure Plus 15 Fun Facts

The draw for the Rio 2016 Olympics men’s football event was held last week in Brazil. Here Completesportsnigeria.com presents FIFA’s 17 interesting facts and figures on the event, including Nigeria’s real ‘Dream Team’ claiming Africa’s first gold, as football fans look ahead to the tournament…

1. Hungary is the most successful nation in the history of the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament with three gold medals (1952, 1964 and 1968), one silver (1972) and one bronze (1960).

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2. Nigeria became the first African country to win Olympic football gold in 1996 with a 3-2 victory over Argentina in the Atlanta fimal. The country then won silver at Beijing in 2008 as Argentina avenged their defeat after 12 years.

3. Four nations boast a brace of tournament triumphs: Great Britain claimed gold in 1908 and 1912,Uruguay in 1924 and 1928, Soviet Union in 1956 and 1988, and Argentina in 2004 and 2008.

4. Brazil, Denmark and Yugoslavia have earned a reputation as perennial runners-up: they have collected silver on three occasions. The Netherlands and the Soviet Union, on the other hand, have three bronze medals apiece.

5. European nations have dominated the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament, unlike the FIFA World Cup, by claiming 16 of the 23 gold medals awarded to date.

6. The only South American representatives to have ever won gold are Uruguay (1924 and 1928) and Argentina (2004 and 2008). However, since Uruguay’s second triumph in 1928, they failed to qualify again for the tournament until 2012 when they returned after an absence of 84 years.

7. Brazil’s have had 12 attempts at winning the Men’s Olympic football Tournament title but they are still missing gold after amassing three silver medals in 1984, 1988 and 2012 and two bronze in 1996 and 2008.

8. Only three previous Olympic football host nations have been victorious: Great Britain in 1908, Belgium in 1920 and Spain in 1992.

9. Czechoslovakia are the only team to have been disqualified in the history of Olympic football after they walked off the pitch after 39 minutes in protest at what they saw as biased refereeing in the match against Belgium in 1920. A play-off was necessary to determine the silver medallists. Spain took this honour by defeating the Dutch 3-1.

10.The only replayed final match in the history of the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament was in 1928 after Uruguay and Argentina drew 1-1 after extra time. Three days later, the match was played again and the Uruguayans battled to a 2-1 victory.

11. The first and only time that an Olympic football final match was decided by a penalty shoot-out was in 2000 when Cameroon triumphed over Spain (2-2 AET 5-3 PSO).

12. In Athens in 2004, Argentina became the first team to win gold without conceding a single goal throughout the whole tournament.

13. The record attendance at an Olympic football match is 105,000 for the play-off for third place between Mexico and Japan at the Azteca Stadium in 1968. The 2000 final at Sydney’s Stadium Australia was not far behind with some 104,000 attendees.

14. A new all-time record of 2,186,120 people attended the Olympic Football Tournaments in London 2012 (including women’s matches – men’s only: 1,525,134).

15. Italy, the nation with the most appearances (15), have also played the most matches, 61, of which they have won 32, drawn six and lost 23.

16. With 125 goals, Italy are the most prolific goalscorers in the tournament’s history.

17. The first-ever Olympic football goal was scored by Denmark’s Nils Middelboe against France on 19 October 1908.

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