Be honest. After the end of Euro 2020, you were probably ready for a break from football.
Do not worry, it’s okay to admit it, so were we.
But the news of football-free days has now passed and suddenly the prospects for an Olympic group game between Honduras and Romania in 2020 are extremely appealing.
This is not the only candy offered in Tokyo either. There are many exciting players – both young and old – to enjoy. Here are 10 of the best ones that are worth keeping an eye on.
Kubo will look great in the Japanese kit / Masashi Hara / Getty Images
Still only 20, the multi-year Real Madrid loanee Takefusa Kubo already has bags of La Liga experience.
The fast attacking midfielder is a joy to see when he is in full flow and slides past the opponents as if they were not there regularly. He also has an eye for a pass and will likely be Japan’s leading creative light on the games.
Impress the Olympics and who knows, he may even get a few first team minutes for Los Blancos next season.
Gignac is a legend in Monterrey / Hector Vivas / Getty Images
It has been a while since the European audience has been treated to Andre-Pierre Gignac’s talents.
The powerful striker left Marseille to join the Mexican side Tigres back in 2015, a move that surprised most. But it has worked great for Gignac who has made sacks and lifts lots of cutlery for the tigers.
At the Olympics, he will lead the line for a young France side that also includes Tigres team-mate and Newcastle United flop Florian Thauvin.
Wood is the most famous player in the Clarets squad / Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
We could not believe our eyes when we saw Sean Dyche had allowed his talisman striker, Chris Wood, to fly to Tokyo.
That may be bad news for Burnley, but it’s a massive boost for New Zealand with Wood and Winston Reid among the only recognizable names in the squad.
He enters the tournament in good form, netting five times in his last six Premier League matches and also scoring goals in a friendly against Australia recently.
Reinier should play a bigger role in Dortmund next season / Matthias Hangst / Getty Images
There are a lot of young young talents in Brazil, including Bayer Leverkusen’s Paulinho, Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli and Ajax Antony.
We are particularly pleased to see Reinier, who is currently on loan at Borussia Dortmund from Real Madrid.
A top technician who can serve as number ten as well as over the forward line, he was a bit-part player for BVB last semester. It will be interesting to see if he can live up to the hype at the Olympics if he is chosen.
Almada will be well known to Football Manager players / Fran Santiago / Getty Images
Thiago Alamada is currently trading for Velez Sarsfield but he has been tipped to move to Europe for some time.
The 20-year-old is the archetypal Argentine number ten, who compensates for his lack of height with an evil box with tricks and fearlessness on the ball.
Almada hopes to capture scouts by impressing at the Olympics this summer.
Sobhi will be the key to Egypt’s hopes with Mohamed Salah not in the squad / Gareth Copley / Getty Images
Ramadan Sobhi did not have the best times in England. It was actually quite catastrophic.
First, he was part of the Stoke City side that experienced relegation at the end of the 2016/17 season. He then flopped badly in Huddersfield Town. With this, he says that he has looked good since he returned to his home country Egypt in 2020.
With Mohamed Salah prevented from traveling to Tokyo, the Pharaohs will need Sobhi to be the best if they have any chance of upsetting the odds.
Pedri was fantastic at Euro 2020 / Etsuo Hara / Getty Images
After not missing a single minute of Spain’s drive to the Euro 2020 semi-finals – and also being named 90 min. Our 21 players in the tournament – you could have expected the teenage experience Pedri to be on the beach right now.
Instead, the terrifyingly talented midfielder will spend his summer in Tokyo as part of La Furia Roja’s Olympic squad.
It’s hard to exaggerate how incredible Pedri is in football. If you have not boarded the hype train yet, do so now.
Gil is highly ranked in Spain / Soccrates Images / Getty Images
Bryan Gil is taking time off from his lively summer tournament schedule as part of a Beatles tribute band to compete at the Olympics.
The soon-to-be Tottenham player will be closely followed by Spurs fans, but there is also a lot to be excited about.
The wide forward is a dynamite dribbler whose intelligence off the ball is also impressive. Spurs could have dug a rough diamond.
Alves will be wearing the captain’s bracelet / MARTIN MEJIA / Getty Images
Dani Alves has lived it up since returning to Brazil in 2019. So much so that he has received the captain’s armband for his country’s Olympic campaign at the mature age of 38 years.
Alves is still in remarkably good shape and still loves to bomb down the right side.
If you’re not excited about seeing him back in a yellow jersey, you do not love football.
Amad still adapts to life in England / Marc Atkins / Getty Images
Manchester United fans have not had many opportunities to see Amad Diallo so far.
However, the 19-year-old – who could eventually cost them as much as 40 million euros – would be on full screen for the Ivory Coast at the Olympics.
Amad is a very exciting talent that some have tipped to play a much bigger role for United next season.