Brazil, 2-time defending Olympic champ, fails to qualify for Paris Games after loss to Argentina

Brazil won't defend its Olympic title in Paris. (Photo by FEDERICO PARRA/AFP via Getty Images)
Brazil won't defend its Olympic title in Paris. (Photo by FEDERICO PARRA/AFP via Getty Images)

The 2024 Olympics men's soccer field will not feature the 2016 and 2020 gold medalists.

Brazil, the two-time defending Olympic champion, failed to qualify for the Paris Games on Sunday by losing 1-0 to Argentina in the final stage of the CONMEBOL pre-Olympic tournament. Argentina clinched a berth with the win, leaving the final slot to be determined via the game between Venezuela and Paraguay later Sunday.

Paraguay will qualify with a win or tie and would officially win the tournament unless the tie is 2-2 or greater. Argentina got the decisive goal via a beautiful cross from Valentín Barco to Luciano Gondou.

The Olympic tournament is notably different than the other world soccer tournament held every four years, the World Cup, in that it features a much smaller field and rosters of mostly under-23 players, with each team allowed only three senior players. Qualifying tournaments feature similarly young players.

Qualifying out of South America is notoriously difficult, with only two slots going to one of the world's most competitive soccer continents. In addition to the Argentina loss, Brazil fell 1-0 to Paraguay on Monday and beat Venezuela 2-1 on Thursday.

While Brazil is out, the United States men's team will play in the tournament for the first time in 2008 via its win in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Here's the rest of the field so far:

  • Host nation: France

  • CONCACAF: United States, Dominican Republic

  • UEFA: Spain, Israel, Ukraine

  • CAF: Morocco, Egypt, Mali

  • OFC: New Zealand

  • CONMEBOL: Argentina, Venezuela/Paraguay

The remaining four slots will be determined by the AFC tournament in Asia and the AFC-CAF playoff.