Paris 2024 Olympics: soccer, its athletes, its records... All you need to know about the Olympic event

Published by Cécile de Sortiraparis · Published on February 23th, 2024 at 11:05 a.m.
You think soccer has no secrets for you? But do you know its history at the Olympic Games? Here's everything you need to know ahead of the Paris 2024 events.

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, and is played by people of all ages: it is often the star of school playgrounds, and of sports nights in bars. Soccer is also one of the historic sports of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Games: it has been one of the disciplines played at every Games since 1900.

In 2024, soccer is naturally among the events contested at the Paris Games. However, the sport requires special organization: because of the number of games played, and to allow athletes to rest between matches, the soccer events start slightly before the official start of the Olympic Games, and the games are played in several stadiums throughout France. The soccer competition therefore runs from July 24 to August 10, 2024. In Paris, matches are played at the Parc des Princes.

JO de Paris 2024 : le football, ses athlètes, ses records... Tout savoir sur l'épreuve olympiqueJO de Paris 2024 : le football, ses athlètes, ses records... Tout savoir sur l'épreuve olympiqueJO de Paris 2024 : le football, ses athlètes, ses records... Tout savoir sur l'épreuve olympiqueJO de Paris 2024 : le football, ses athlètes, ses records... Tout savoir sur l'épreuve olympique

Soccer originated in England in the 19th century, inspired by a similar but much more violent medieval game. The sport became codified at the end of the 19th century, and was gradually imported by the British throughout the world, through colonization or commercial and cultural exchanges with neighboring countries.

In the early days of the Olympic Games, soccer was only played by amateurs. The rapid professionalization of the sport prompted the IOC to impose a number of rules to ensure balanced competition. From 1984 onwards, professional players were allowed to take part in the Olympic Games, but only if they were 23 years of age or younger (with 3 accepted exceptions). The first women's soccer tournaments at the Olympic Games took place in 1996. Unlike men, there are no age restrictions on women's participation.

Rules and hopes

At the Olympic Games, soccer is played 11 against 11 on a grass pitch, with matches lasting twice 45 minutes. The aim is to score more goals than the opposing team. Apart from the age limit for men, the Olympic events are no different from FIFA matches.

In the Paralympics, the sport practiced is cecifoot, played by visually impaired athletes in a five-on-five format. Matches last twice 15 minutes, and are played on 40x20-meter fields. The ball is fitted with a sound device so that players can locate and handle it.

The overall medal table was headed by the USA, followed by Hungary, Great Britain, Brazil andGermany. France tied for 16th place with one gold and one silver medal. The USA shone especially brightly thanks to its women's team, which won a string of gold medals in this discipline. On the men's side, Hungary dominated, followed by Great Britain and Brazil. Hungarian footballer Dezső Novák is the only player to have won three Olympic medals in soccer.

So, in 2024, who will we find on the pitch defending the French colors? Thierry Henry has been appointed coach of the French Olympic team. The names of the players have yet to be announced, but Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann have made it clear that they are keen to take part in the Games. On the women's side, Hervé Renard is in charge of selection.

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Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From July 24th, 2024 to August 10th, 2024



    24 rue du Commandant Guilbaud
    75116 Paris 16

    Official website

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