Four European nations qualify for 2016 Olympic men’s soccer tournament

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The 2016 Olympic men’s soccer tournament, already with Brazil and Argentina, will also include Germany, Portugal, Sweden and Denmark.

The four nations reached the European Under-21 Championship semifinals this week, clinching their Olympic berths.

There are no more chances for European nations to qualify for the 2016 Olympic men’s soccer tournament, meaning soccer powers like 2006 World Cup winner Italy and 1998 World Cup winner France aren’t going to Rio.

It’s Germany’s first Olympic men’s soccer appearance since East Germany and West Germany reunited in 1990. West Germany won Olympic bronze in 1988, a team that included current U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

German veteran defenders Philipp Lahm and Per Mertesacker, who both retired from international duty after winning the 2014 World Cup, would consider coming back to play in the Olympics, according to German media.

Olympic men’s soccer rosters can include no more than three players over the age of 23.

Portugal could call on Cristiano Ronaldo, the two-time reigning FIFA Ballon d’Or winner and a 2004 Olympian (the last time Portugal qualified for the Olympic men’s soccer tournament). Sweden may bring Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has never played in an Olympics.

“It’s all about how the situation looks at that point, but if I have the chance to represent my Sweden at an Olympics, why not?” Ibrahimovic said earlier this month, according to a Reuters translation of a Sportsbladet report, echoing comments he made in November. “We’ll have to see how the situation is… but if I’m available, absolutely.”

Further 2016 Olympic men’s soccer berths will be decided at continental qualifying tournaments, including the U.S.-hosted CONCACAF tournament in October. The U.S. failed to qualify for the London 2012 Games.

Mexico is the reigning Olympic men’s soccer champion. Brazil, the reigning silver medalist, has never won an Olympic soccer title.

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