Men's football at the Olympic Games: the change in the profile of the medalists from the age limitation at Barcelona Olympic Games -1992


  • Rovilson de Freitas Universidade de São Paulo


Olympic Games, football, medalists


The most popular sport on the planet has always had questioned participation in the Olympic Games.  In practically all sports, being in the Olympic Games represents the pinnacle for the sport and, obviously, for the athletes. After all, it's a great opportunity to introduce yourself to people who don't have access to that modality on a daily basis. That doesn't happen with football. In most countries, football is part of people's routine. In addition, football has its main competition: the FIFA World Cup. Even so, it was present in most editions. At first, in a very modest way, then with a wide domination of the countries of the European socialist bloc. However, from 1992 onwards, there was an important change in the profile of the medalists, precisely when the rule of the age of participation of the athletes was changed: only athletes up to 23 years old could compete in the Olympic Games. This change takes away the European protagonism and transfers most of the medals to countries in Latin America and Africa. This work aims to analyze the reasons for this new configuration of the medalists. It is hypothesized that countries with expressive results in grassroots competitions (under-17 and under-20) have more advantages in a competition that has this age limitation.


Download data is not yet available.


Gil AC. Como elaborar projetos de pesquisa. São Paulo: Atlas; 2002.

Rubio K. Atletas Olímpicos brasileiros. São Paulo: Editora Sesi; 2015.

Rubio K. Jogos Olímpicos da era moderna: uma proposta de periodização. Revista Brasileira de Educação Física e Esporte. 2010;24(1): 55-68.

Giglio SS, Rubio K. As relações entre o COI e a Fifa e a formação da Copa do Mundo de Futebol. In Giglio SS; Silva DMM. O Brasil e as Copas do Mundo: futebol, história e política. São Paulo: Zagodoni; 2014.

Colli E. O futebol nos Jogos Olímpicos. Universo Olímpico: uma enciclopédia das olimpíadas. São Paulo: Editora Codex; 2004.

Giglio SS. As estratégias de João Havelange para enfraquecer o futebol olímpico. Revista USP. 2016;108: 67-76.





Original Article