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Tokyo Olympics 2021 football final: Spain vs Brazil - 5 players to watch

Spain and Brazil will square off for gold in the Tokyo Olympics 2021 men's football match on Saturday.
Spain and Brazil will square off for gold in the Tokyo Olympics 2021 men's football match on Saturday.
ANALYST

Spain U23 take on Brazil U23 in the final of the men's football competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday. Brazil won the gold medal in 2016 and will be looking to grab the top prize here as well.

Spain booked their spot in the final with a 1-0 win over Japan in the semifinal, with Marco Asensio scoring the winning goal in the 115th minute. Meanwhile, the defending champions beat Mexico 4-1 in a penalty shootout.

The Red Fury have just one Olympic gold medal to their name, which they won at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. They last made it to the final in 2000, where they lost to Cameroon. Brazil have made it to the final a record five times but have just one gold medal to their name.

There are some big names missing from either side, including Neymar for Brazil and Alvaro Morata for Spain, but the youthful squads have done well at the tournament.

With the gold medal match all set to kick off later today, we take a look at five players to watch out for in the showdown:


#5 Dani Alves | Brazil

Dani Alves
Dani Alves

Dani Alves was named in the Brazil U-23 side for the Olympics. He had to withdraw from Copa America on account of an injury but returned to the national team for the Olympics.

Though he's won 43 titles with club and country, most of the silverware has come during his time with Barcelona. With Brazil, he's not been that lucky. With the 38-year-old now approaching the end of his career, he will be seeking a gold medal in Tokyo.

Alves has played every single minute of Brazil's road to the final. His experience, vision and determination down the right flank make him one of the key players in the game against Spain.


#4 Marco Asensio | Spain

Marco Asensio scored the winning goal for Spain in the semifinal against Japan.
Marco Asensio scored the winning goal for Spain in the semifinal against Japan.

Marco Asensio is a player with immense potential but his involvement has been limited on account of recurring injuries. The 25-year-old had a relatively modest outing at the Olympics. He was not even named in the starting XI in the crucial semifinal tie.

The Real Madrid star was brought in as a second-half substitute and did what he does best, providing a much-needed spark in the final third. After being on the field for 23 minutes, Asensio scored a beautiful left-footed curler to seal Spain's spot in the finals.

His explosive pace and wicked left foot could make him a gamechanger in the final against Brazil as well.


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Edited by Sandeep Banerjee
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