Amad and Bailly are going for gold in Tokyo Olympic games 2020
The Olympics’ opening ceremony is not until Friday but the Games have already begun and football is taking the lead, with Manchester United’s first team represented proudly in Tokyo by our Ivory Coast internationals Amad and Eric Bailly.
The Elephants will begin the chase to fulfil Olympic dreams on Thursday morning when they take on Saudi Arabia at 09:30 BST, live on Eurosport Player or Discovery+. We will also provide updates on the match, of course.
Elsewhere, United Women players Ella Toone and Jackie Groenen were in action on Wednesday morning as Team GB and the Netherlands managed wins over Chile and Zambia respectively.
Amad and Bailly are part of a very strong squad for the Ivory Coast.
Tournament rules dictate that all players must be under-23 but three exceptions are allowed and Bailly is one of those, while Amad, of course, is only recently turned 19. Other notables inclusions are AC Milan’s Franck Kessie, Max Gradel and Torino’s Wilfried Singo.
For the squad, not only is Olympic glory a target, but it also acts as a chance for many players to prove themselves ahead of January’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Amad made his debut for the national side back in March, scoring his first goal in early June with a 97th-minute free-kick against Burkina Faso.
Clubs are under no obligation to release their players to feature at the Olympics, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explained that he thought the experience would be beneficial for both Amad and Eric.