The Olympic Games begin in Rio this week, with a number of Premier League players making the journey to Brazil as the football tournament kicks off this Thursday.
As the competition is generally limited to players under the age of 23 (with every competing country getting as many as three over-age exceptions), the squads tend to look radically different to those that would normally compete in the World Cup, for example.
As such, the disruption to the Premier League sides is minimal, with the few English-based players going tending to come from the reserve and youth sides.
The exceptions to that trend comes in the form of John Obi Mikel of Chelsea, and Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min,
The lack of a Great British team, unlike in the London games of 2012, means that only a handful of English-based players will be representing their countries in the coming weeks.
Nonetheless, here is the list of Premier League-based players competing in the Olympics:
Serge Gnabry (Arsenal) – Germany
Takuma Asano (Arsenal) – Japan
John Obi Mikel (Chelsea) – Nigeria
Tiago Ilori (Liverpool) – Portugal
Joel Castro Pereira (Manchester United) – Portugal
Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) – South Korea
Aside from that list, Manchester City-bound striker Gabriel Jesus has been included in the Brazilian squad, while goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli, who is also believed to be joining Man City, will be representing Argentina.
New Manchester United signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic turned down the chance to represent Sweden having retired from the international game at the end of Euro 2016, while Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius declined a Germany call-up to concentrate on the new Premier League season (though has since broken his hand and will miss the season’s beginning anyway).
Outisde of the Premier League, the Championship will be represented by Lasse Vibe (Brentford), Lasse Vigen Christiensen (Fulham) and Nicolai Brock-Madsen (Birmingham), who will all be playing for Denmark.
Away from England, a number of high-profile players will still be at the tournament. The undisputed main attraction will be Barcelona superstar Neymar, who along with Lazio’s Felipe Anderson and PSG defender Marquinhos, will be representing a very strong Brazil side.
The competition begins in Brasilia on Thursday afternoon, with Iraq taking on Denmark.
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