Brazil vs Mexico will be the final of the 2012 Olympics football tournament, two nations that have never won gold in their previous visits. Brazil, amazingly, have four medals, two of silver and two of bronze, but still no gold. For Mexico, it’s their first ever final and a promised first ever medal in the football tournament. One of them will join the previous 17 winners on August 11.
1 Gold Medal
12 Teams have won the Olympic gold medal in the football tournament just once – Yugoslavia in 1960, beating Denmark 3-1 in the finals and winning 5 medals in total; Poland, taking gold in 1972, beating Hungary 2-1 in the final with goals from Kazimierz Deyna who later played for Manchester City. Poland took 3 medals in total; Spain, taking the gold medal in the 1992 Olympic games, beating Poland in the final 3-2 with a 90th minute goal from Kiko Navarez. Spain also have 3 medals; East Germany, taking the gold in 1976, beating Poland 3-1 in the final, winning 3 medals at this event.
Next up are another former’s, Czechoslovakia, winning the gold medal in 1980, beating East Germany 1-0, one of their 2 medals at the event. France took their only gold in 1984, beating Brazil 2-0 in the final with a team coached by Henri Michel, also one of their two Olympic medals; Nigeria won their gold in 1996, beating Argentina 3-2 with a 90th minute (offside not called) goal by Emmanuel Amuneke, one of Nigeria’s 2 medals. Italy won their only gold medal (2 more of bronze) in the Berlin (1936) Olympics, beating Austria 2-1 with a 92nd minute goal in extra time. Sweden, also with one gold and two of bronze, won the competition in 1948, beating Yugoslavia with Gunnar Nordahl scoring one of the goals.
Belgium one a gold medal, one of their two medals in total, winning the gold medal in 1920 with Czechoslovakia abandoning the field after 40 minutes. Cameroon won their gold medal in the 2000 Olympics, beating Spain in a penalty shootout. Canada won their Olympic gold in 1904 as Galt FC.
2 Gold Medals
Three nations have won the Olympic tournament twice, Argentina being the highest ranked of them with 2 gold medals and 2 of silver. They won it for the first time in 2004, beating Paraguay in the final 1-0 with a Carlos Tevez goal and repeated four years later in Beijing, beating Nigeria 1-0 with a gold by Angel Di Maria.
The former Soviet Union won the tournament twice, adding three bronze medals to their total. Their first gold came in the 1956 Olympics, beating Yugoslavia 1-0 in the final. Their second gold came in 1988, beating Brazil after extra time 2-1. Uruguay won two gold medals as well in the early days of the games, leading up to their first World Cup win. They won their first in 1924, beating Switzerland 3-0 in the final, repeating in 1928, beating Argentina 2-1 in the replay final.
3 Gold Medals
Hungary are the top of the rankings with one silver and one bronze to go with their 3 gold medals. They won their first in 1952 during the golden era, beating Yugoslavia 2-0 in the final, Ferenc Puskas being among the scorers. The second gold medal came in 1964, beating Czechoslovakia 2-1 in the final. Four years later came the third, beating Bulgaria 4-1 in the final.
Great Britain are the other nation to win the gold medal three times, although that takes us back to the beginning of the games or nearly there, winning the first one as Upton Park FC in 1900. The second gold came in 1908, beating Denmark 2-0, repeating in 1912 with a 4-2 win over Denmark again.