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Paris 2024 Olympics

Paris 2024 Olympics: France to Clash with United States in Men’s Soccer Opener

Paris, March 20, 2024, The Europe Today: Hosts France are set to ignite the excitement of the men’s soccer tournament at the Paris 2024 Olympics as they gear up to face the United States in the opening match, following the draw conducted on Wednesday.

Scheduled to take place in Marseille on July 24, just two days ahead of the grand opening ceremony in Paris, the inaugural clash will set the stage for a thrilling tournament. Joining France and the United States in Group A are New Zealand and the winner of a playoff between Guinea and the fourth-placed team in the Asian qualifying competition.

Argentina, two-time gold medalists in 2004 and 2008, headline Group B alongside Morocco, Ukraine, and an Asian qualifier yet to be determined.

Notably absent from the men’s tournament are two-time defending champions Brazil, who failed to qualify, eliciting disappointment from French soccer legend Thierry Henry, now coach of the Under-23 French team.

Reflecting on the significance of the Olympics, Henry expressed his passion for the event, stating, “The Olympics… my dad would wake me up at night to watch Carl Lewis… I cried when we did not qualify, even if I had won the World Cup before.” He affirmed his team’s determination to pursue Olympic success despite France’s 40-year hiatus from claiming the title since their victory in 1984 in Los Angeles.

Henry’s squad is set to face the United States in a friendly match on Monday, intensifying the anticipation surrounding their upcoming encounter at the Olympics.

U.S. head coach Marko Mitrovic views the match against France as a formidable challenge but remains focused on the task at hand. “When you play against the host team it is a little bit of a different experience… But it is what it is. We see them as all other teams in our group, as our opponents, and we will try to do our best,” Mitrovic remarked.

In the women’s competition, world champions Spain, making their Olympic debut, were drawn in a challenging group alongside Japan, Brazil, and an African qualifier yet to be determined. Holders Canada headline Group A, featuring hosts France, Colombia, and New Zealand.

The United States, four-time winners of the women’s tournament, find themselves in Group B alongside Germany, Australia, and an African qualifier.

With high-caliber teams vying for Olympic glory, the stage is set for an exhilarating tournament that promises captivating matches and fierce competition.

The soccer tournaments will culminate with the women’s final on August 10 at the Parc des Princes in Paris, marking the conclusion of the thrilling soccer events at the Paris 2024 Olympics.