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Olympics 2020: What would a men's Team GB football side look like?

Harry Kane
(Image credit: Future)

Team GB are entering a women's team for the football at 2020's Tokyo Olympics - but once again, the men won't be competing. 

But choosing a Team GB side of footballers wouldn't be as easy as selecting Harry Kane, half the England team, plus Bale and Robertson. It's predominantly an under-23 tournament, for a start - you can pick Kane but Tottenham probably wouldn't allow him to go, since they wouldn't want him tired out before the season starts.

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With two home nations in the semi-finals and final of the last two European Championships, there's certainly a case to be made for Britain having a greater football team when united. Who would make the cut of the Olympic team? 



Olympic players

(Image credit: Future)

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Unsurprisingly, the bulk of under-23 talent in Great Britain comes from England. Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Marcus Rashford are the headliners, with all three receiving limited minutes at Euro 2020. 

Others who didn't feature much at the Euros - we don't want burnout for this theoretical team, after all - are Reece James, Ben White and Jude Bellingham, while Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Fikayo Tomori and Curtis Jones didn't go. 

Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale is 23 and qualifies for this squad, while Euros stars Mason Mount and Declan Rice are both eligible, aged 22. 


Bill Gilmour, Scotland, Euro 2020 covid rules

(Image credit: PA)

Scotland have some exciting talents coming through but perhaps Billy Gilmour is the most exciting of the lot. The Chelsea midfielder - now on loan at Norwich City - didn't play much at Euro 2020, owing to the fact he contracted COVID-19, so he'd be a shoo-in for our team. 

22-year-old David Turnbull of Celtic is eligible, while left-back Josh Doig of Hibernian is just 19 and extremely well-rated. At right-back, Nathan Patterson of Rangers is just 19. 

This is, of course, assuming that Scotland par-take. The London 2012 squad didn't feature any Scottish players, with the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish FA stating they didn't want any of their players involved for fear of risking their countries' separate identities in world football. Still, they can't block players from going...



(Image credit: PA Images)

Wales are between generations with the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale approaching their twilight, while players like Dan James, Chris Mepham and Joe Rodon are all under 23. 

Many of Wales's Euro 2020 squad are eligible for Olympic football: Neco Williams and Ethan Ampadu got limited game time, however, while Rabbi Matondo didn't even go to the tournament. 

Wales's best offers to our theoretical Team GB side are in defence.

Northern Ireland

Jamal Lewis

(Image credit: PA Images)

Northern Ireland have one standout star who is still eligible for the Olympics: 23-year-old Jamal Lewis. 

The Newcastle United left-back is the obvious choice to make the cut but options are limited, aside from him. Ali McCann of St. Johnstone is 21, Ethan Galbraith of Manchester United's under-23s is an option, while Ciaron Brown of Cardiff City is on the cusp at 23. Celtic goalkeeper Conor Hazard is 23, too. 

Northern Ireland, like Scotland, didn't send any players to the 2012 Olympics.

The over-age players

Aaron Ramsey

(Image credit: Getty)

Team GB's three over-age players at London 2012 were Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards. Other countries have opted big names too: Neymar won gold for Brazil in 2014 on home soil, Juan Roman Riquelme won gold with Argentina in 2008 and Dani Alves is linking back up with the Brazil side this time around. 

With that in mind, at least one superstar would be nice for our theoretical Team GB side: players of Harry Kane, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling's ilk. Equally though, there are a lot of tired English legs after the Euros, who may have to sit this out. You need a mix between glitz and grit though.

Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are obvious options for the over-age players: and Ramsey played at Euro 2012. Kieran Tierney and Andrew Robertson are both Scottish superstars - but we've got left-back covered by Jamal Lewis. The sensible thing to do would be to elect players in positions where the team is weakest. 

FFT's theoretical Team GB squad for the 2020 Olympics

22-man squads are required for Tokyo 2020. With this in mind, we've assumed this team will play a back four, gone for two players in each position and tried to balance the squad between all four nations as best we can...

Team GB

(Image credit: Future)

Our final squad has eight English players, six Welsh, five Scottish and three Northern Irish. For the over-23s, we picked one from England, Scotland and Wales, choosing Jack Grealish (since we didn't get to see him much at Euro 2020), Aaron Ramsey (to make him the first Brit to feature in two Olympic squads for over a century) and Scott McTominay.

In goal, we've chosen Aaron Ramsdale as our no.1 with Northern Irish Conor Hazard as his deputy. Reece James takes the right-back spot since he only played 90 minutes at the Euros; Neco Williams, who didn't play much either gets to be back-up right-back, as he did for Wales over the summer. Joe Rodon and Ethan Ampadu both make the team, since Rodon is part of a big Tottenham squad - so can afford to go to this tournament - and Ampadu didn't feature much for Wales over the Euros. Ben White didn't play at all for England, while Ciaron Brown goes as a back-up defender. We've well-stocked at left-back with Jamal Lewis and Josh Doig. 

The midfield is all-Scottish. Billy Gilmour is an automatic pick as a standout under-23 for the Scots, while Nathan Patterson and David Turnbull are standout midfielders from either side of the Old Firm. England lack star quality in the centre of midfield, aside from Rice and Mount, so Scott McTominay gets our final central-midfield spot, as an over-23, to add some tough tackling to the mix. Aaron Ramsey and Curtis Jones are creative but both are hard workers who can either play as no.10s or in a midfield three. 

In attack, we're going for entertainment. Phil Foden and Jack Grealish make the side since they didn't play much of the Euros, while Rabbi Matondo and Callum Hudson-Odoi are fresh legs who didn't go to the Euros at all. In attack, Welsh attacker Tyler Roberts is understudy to Tammy Abraham, who's also had a summer fresh from football.

Of course, it's tempting to go with Harry Kane up top - if only Daniel Levy would be willing to release him...

Who would you pick? Tweet us @FourFourTwo (opens in new tab)!

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