The 2012 Olympics are set to begin soon in Great Britain and will provide an excellent opportunity to watch the stars of tomorrow on a major stage. The predominantly U-23 setup allows for a vast array of young players to represent their country and catch the eye of scouts worldwide.
The Great Britain team is loaded with youngsters that already play on Premier League teams such as Aaron Ramsey, Tom Cleverly, and Daniel Sturridge. Led by veteran Ryan Giggs, the team will be looking to win a gold medal on their home soil. With such as exciting array of young players already featuring at major clubs, Britain will like their chances and should do very well.
Brazil are many odds-makers favorites to win the gold medal. With soon to be superstars like Neymar, Rafael, and Hulk, who would doubt them? The team also houses a solid group of veteran players such as Marcelo of Real Madrid, and Thiago Silva of AC Milan. The Brazilians have never won Olympic gold, though they did earn silver in 2008 and are always candidates to succeed in big tournaments.
Mexico will be contenders as well and have a solid group of youngsters waiting to explode on the international scene. Comprised mostly of Mexican league players, they boast stars like Marco Fabian, who has impressed with Chivas and has scored many goals during Olympic qualifications. Also, Giovani dos Santos will be present. Although he has found few opportunities at Tottenham, the forward is an amazing trickster who would love to prove himself at this competition.
Spain should also be considered as a favorite. The senior team has won countless trophies but their U-23 side has shown that this dominance is likely to continue. The team will feature EURO 2012 hero Jordi Alba, as well as a few other Barcelona youth players like Cristian Tello and Oriol Romeu, who now plays for Chelsea. Their goalkeeper, David de Gea, starts for Manchester United and has a bright future as well.
Uruguay could also be well poised to place strongly in the Olympics. Led by Luis Suarez, the nation bolsters defender Sebastian Coates and a group of players from Italy’s Serie A in Gaston Ramirez, Edinson Cavani, Arevalo Rios, and Abel Hernandez. Uruguay reached the semifinals of the 2010 World Cup and won the 2011 Copa America so their fans will have high expectations entering the Olympics.
Another player worth watching will be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon. The young striker had a superb 2012 African Cup of Nations leading his side with three goals to the quarterfinals. He has also played well for his French team Saint-Etienne. The 2012 Olympics could be his coming out party.
Many fantastic players start off as no-names until an event like the Olympics comes about. The soccer world is soon to be introduced to a new group of stars, many of whom are set to embark on fantastic careers. Although the tournament doesn’t hold quite the names as the EURO tournament did, it will still provide an excellent grounds for dramatic soccer matches.