French World Cup star Kylian Mbappé said he wants to play at the Olympics, according to RMC Sport.
“With France, I still have the European Championship to win. I would also, why not, like to compete in the Olympics,” Mbappé said, according to reported translations.
Mbappé, the second-youngest player at the World Cup, has age working in his favor.
Tokyo Olympic men’s soccer teams are limited to players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997, with three exceptions. Mbappé, who turns 20 on Dec. 20, easily makes the under-23 cutoff, so France would not have to use one of its over-age spots on him.
However, Olympic football qualifying is much more exclusive than for the World Cup. Only four European nations will qualify for Tokyo via the 2019 UEFA U-21 Championship, and France hasn’t put a men’s team into the Olympics since 1996.
Mbappé may need his club team, currently Paris Saint-Germain, to sign off on him playing at the Olympics, which start less than two weeks after the Euro 2020 final. Mbappé potentially playing in both Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics could create another Neymar situation.
France should receive automatic entry into the 2024 Olympics as the host nation. In that case, Mbappé would have to be one of the nation’s over-age exceptions.
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