Warming up is essential. If you don’t you go in under prepared and liable to pulling a muscle. We don’t need any of that at the Olympics, so we’ve got you covered. Prepare for the Olympic feast with a dive into the history books. We take a look at the rivalries found in the group stages.
Japan v Canada v England [Great Britain]
There’s been a lot of to and fro between these three nations (defaulting to England for Great Britain) on the big stages of World Cups and Olympics.
With a hint of uncanny coincidence, the last time there was a team Great Britain at London 2012, they faced off against Canada in the quarter final. Canada the 2-nil victors. Japan and Canada were drawn together in that tournament’s group stage, with Japan edging it 2-1.
Neither Japan or Canada went on to top the table, but both went deep into the 2012 tournament. Japan claimed a silver medal, Canada a bronze.
Canada and Japan had a rough trot in 2019 at the World Cup. Both advanced to the round of 16 with second place finishes, but were unable to go any further.
Canada has an uncanny knack for producing the goods at the Olympics, with things seemingly clicking into place.
Recent results leave Japan hard to judge, a rough SheBelieves tournament on the cusp of the pandemic is in contrast to four convincing wins in April and June.
For Great Britain, it’ll be a matter of gelling players and a new coach. Drawing together players from the island has the promise of something special or chaotic.
Rising star nominee: Chile
Having never qualified for a major tournament, Chile were deemed inactive by FIFA in 2016.
How things have changed with a little bit of funding and a lot of unionising.
Even without a back story, they’ve won over the hearts of many. A valiant display against the USWNT at France 2019 sticks in the mind of fans, where the World Champions struggled to get past the brick wall of Christine Endler.
Chile has shown a passion on the field and fearlessness time and again. They’ve got creativity oozing, unafraid to attack but know how to keep things structured and tidy where needed.
This Olympics is Chile’s second major tournament, and it’s certainly only the start of what they’re going to bring on the big stage into the future.