Opening showdown: France vs. US launch Men's football tournament at Olympics

Opening showdown: France vs. US launch Men’s football tournament at Olympics

After the two sides were drawn together, France will face the US to open the men’s football competition at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Two days before the Paris opening ceremony, the match will take place in Marseille. Group A is completed by New Zealand and the winner of a playoff between Guinea and the team that finished fourth in the Asian qualifying campaign. Argentina, the defending champions from 2004 and 2008, were paired in Group B with Morocco, Ukraine, and an Asian qualifier that has not yet been decided. Defending champions twice Brazil was unable to qualify for the men’s competition and will not participate.

The prestige of opening matches

“My dad used to wake me up at night to see Carl Lewis compete in the Olympics… At the draw ceremony, France’s 1998 World Cup champion Thierry Henry, who is currently coaching the Under-23 squad that will compete in the tournament, remarked, “I cried when we did not qualify, even if I had won the World Cup before.” It has been forty years since we won. Though it’s not simple, we’ll give it our best go. On Monday, Henry’s team will play the US in a friendly. Henry continued, “The first aim is to go through the group phase and see what happens on the other side. We didn’t have a preference (for the draw). Although he views France as just another opponent in the group, US head coach Marko Mitrovic told reporters that he is anticipating a hot environment.

Emerging contenders

“Playing against the home team is a slightly different experience because it’s our first game against them; it’s in Marseille, so I imagine there will be 70,000 spectators in the sold-out stadium.”Yet things are as they are. We will do our best since we view them as our opponents, along with the other teams in our group. World champions Spain, who will compete in their first Olympics, were drawn against Brazil, Japan, and an unnamed African qualifier in the women’s category. 

In Group A, holders Canada will face hosts France, Colombia, and New Zealand. Germany, Australia, and a qualifier from Africa are in Group B with the four-time winners, the United States. Twila Kilgore, the US’s acting head coach, warned reporters over the phone that the Olympics would be extremely difficult. “I think it speaks volumes when you consider that some of the world’s best teams are not even allowed to compete in the Olympics.” Every group is challenging, and it would be incorrect to minimize any individual.

Head-to-Head analysis

Kylian Mbappé’s prospects of competing for his country at this year’s Olympics in Paris have been called into question by France coach Didier Deschamps, who stated that it would be “very difficult” to participate in the Games immediately after Euro 2024. “It is very difficult from a psychological and physical viewpoint to take part in two competitions like that one after the other, in the summer, without having any holiday,” Deschamps said. The France coach revealed that Thierry Henry would choose the Olympic team, which will likely include several players from his group for the European Championship. According to Deschamps, the European event “remains the priority” and the players who will compete at the Olympics must reveal their names prior to the June 14 commencement of the continental event. “We don’t want any interference with our preparations, so once we are in our training camp at Clairefontaine, it needs to be clear who is going and who is not going,” Deschamps stated.

Olympic football: France’s passion meets boycott concerns

Amidst the excitement of the France-US opening showdown in Marseille for the 2024 Olympics, the shadow of boycott looms. France’s Thierry Henry, emotionally vested in the tournament, highlights the nation’s fervor. However, concerns arise regarding Kylian Mbappé’s dual commitments, prompting speculation of boycotts, reflecting broader issues in football’s Olympic participation rules.


In conclusion, Men’s football in the Summer Games is restricted to players under the age of 23, while three players over 23 may also compete, opening the door for Mbappé, 25, and other older French players to compete. But clubs are not required by FIFA, the international governing body of football, to release players for the Olympics, which might make Mbappé’s predicament much more difficult. When his contract expires at the conclusion of this season, the attacker will be leaving PSG, and Real Madrid is anticipated to be his next stop.



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