o Italy are the most frequent participants and have played the most matches: 51 (27 wins, 4 draws, 20 defeats). Only Hungary can match Italy's record of 27 victories. But with three gold medals, one silver and one bronze under their belts (all between 1952 and 1972), the Hungarians have been more successful.

o Yugoslavia (now Serbia and Montenegro) are the most productive team in the history of the tournament: with 115 goals, they even surpass the Italians' tally by five goals.

o Nils Middleboe from Denmark was the first man to score a goal at an Olympic Football Tournament - against France on 9 October 1908. It was in that game, which Denmark won 9-0, that Vilhelm Wolfhagen scored the first Olympic hat trick and four goals altogether.

o Wolfhagen also notched up four in the second match of the 1908 Tournament and is to this day the only player to have achieved such a feat. Statistically, however, he lines up behind compatriot, Sophus Nielsen, who on the very same day found the net no fewer than ten times - a record for Olympic Football Tournaments and FIFA final competitions that Nielsen shares with German Gottfried Fuchs, who also scored ten times against Russia in 1912.

o The matches between Denmark and France (17-1) and Germany and Russia (16-0) reflect the biggest winning margins as well as the greatest number of goals in the history of the tournament.

 

Samuel Kuffour (pictured playing for Bayern Munich FC) is the youngest Olympic champion of all time.
(FIFA.com)
IMAGO
o Two players share the glory of being top goalscorers at the Olympic Football Tournament - Sophus Nielsen (Denmark) and Antal Dunai (Hungary) each scored 13 times. A close second is Dunai's compatriot, Ferenc Bene, who netted all twelve of his goals in one single Tournament - in 1964, contributing largely to Hungary's ultimate gold medal.

o Only a dozen or so players from Uruguay (1924 and 1928 Olympic Football Tournaments and the 1930 World Cup) and Italy (1934 and 1938 World Cup and 1936 Olympic Football Tournament) have managed to pocket Olympic gold as well as lift the Jules Rimet trophy.

oThe most successful Olympic footballer is Dezsö Novak from Hungary with three medals (bronze in 1960, gold in 1964 and 1968).

o No Olympic top scorer has managed to repeat his success at the FIFA World Cup™. But the list of top goalscorers since 1984 reads like a football Who's Who - Romario, Zamorano, Bebeto, Crespo, Dobrovolski, Ronaldo, Kiko and so on.

o Five players had the honour of scoring a goal in five successive games - Igor Dobrovolski (USSR in 1988), Ottmar Hitzfeld (FR Germany in 1972), Milan Galic (Yugoslavia in 1960) and Adolfo Baloncieri (Italy in 1928). Only Dobrovolski actually claimed gold.

o Of the 23 own goals, three were scored by Spain. The last one in 2000 proved to be crucial. With the score at 2-0, Ivan Amaya put one past his own goalkeeper and brought Cameroon back into the game. Cameroon then levelled and won on penalties.

o The youngest medal winner is Ghanaian Samuel Kuffuor, who pocketed bronze in 1992 just before his 16th birthday. Cameroon goalkeeper Idris Kameni, a thorn in the side of his opponents, was 16 years and seven months old when he won gold. Swedish bronze medal winner Erik Nilsson was more than twice that age - almost 36 - in 1952, having also played against Brazil in the 1938 FIFA World Cup™.