Bellamy buoyant as Suarez stumbles - How the Premier League's Olympic stars have fared so far

With the English top flight providing more footballers than any other division, looks at those who have impressed, and those who have not, so far in London
By Oliver Platt and Matt Scott

No league contributed more players to the Olympic Games than the Premier League, so it is perhaps fitting that the majority of English top-flight stars have enjoyed success so far this summer.

That has not been the case for all, however, with some of the biggest names from the division also suffering poor form and disappointing results.
brings you both the best and the worst individual displays from the group stages as players look to prove their worth on the international stage..


The majority of Premier League stars at the Games can be found in the Team GB side, and while Stuart Pearce's charges have started well, a few of the side have especially caught the eye. Ryan Giggs has captained the makeshift team superbly, leading by example in midfield and even bagging himself a goal against UAE. Tom Cleverley also impressed against Sunday's opponents, playing a part in two of the three goals after coping well with a physical Senegalese outfit.

The star for the hosts, however, has been Craig Bellamy, with the pacy Welshman netting against Senegal before assisting twice against UAE. Perhaps the ultimate sign of the Liverpool man's performances have been the home crowd's reaction to him - initially booed by sections of supporters in Great Britain's warm-up game against Brazil, Bellamy has been given a standing ovation when substituted in both of the games at the tournament.

Elsewhere, Giovani dos Santos hit back after being dropped to Mexico's substitutes bench. Introduced at half-time against Gabon, the Tottenham man curled home the game's first goal before notching a late penalty to boost El Tricolor's chances of making the knockout phase. However, Dos Santos has admitted he is still unsure of his future at White Hart Lane, adding after the game: "It could be good for me. There could be opportunities now."

Mohamed Diame has been a strong presence in Senegal's bustling side thus far. Fresh from joining West Ham, the midfielder is captaining the African outfit, who are currently on the brink of qualifying from Group A to the next stage, alongside Team GB. Brazilians Sandro and Rafael have also enjoyed their time at the Games as the favourites look to secure their first Olympic crown, the Manchester United full-back even popped up with a goal for the Selecao against Egypt.

Honduras pulled off the biggest shock of the tournament so far by knocking Spain out, with Wigan's Maynor Figueroa playing a vital role as one of the more experienced heads in the side. Meanwhile, forgotten Arsenal man Chu-Young Park may have proven his worth to Arsene Wenger, notching against Switzerland.

West Brom youngster Chris Wood will be hoping for further first-team opportunities after spending time away from the Hawthorns on loan in recent seasons. The teenage striker gave New Zealand the lead against Egypt before the Pharaohs pegged them back.


It was almost like 2008, 2010 and 2012 had never happened. Once upon a time, Spain were considered perennial underachievers at international tournaments and their Olympic team demonstrated some of the worst habits of old to crash out of the Games at the first hurdle following defeats against Japan and Honduras.

It would be very harsh to pin the blame on Premier League stars David de Gea and Juan Mata, who played reasonably well for coach Luis Milla, but there is no doubting that two of the more senior members of the Spanish team have had an extremely disappointing week.

Oriol Romeu, also of Chelsea, meanwhile, saw a whole 25 minutes or so of action over the two matches - not a particularly impressive endorsement of his credentials for a first-team place at Stamford Bridge next season.

Elsewhere, Luis Suarez and Sebastian Coates' dreams of gold (or silver or bronze, for that matter) are hanging by a thread following Uruguay's 2-0 loss to Senegal.

The Liverpool striker is yet to find the back of the net at the Games, not helped by the boos that echoed down from the stands in Manchester and London every time he touched the ball. His team-mate, meanwhile, has watched three goals beat goalkeeper Martin Campana.

They have a chance though, unlike Spain, in what is likely to be an evenly-matched encounter against Great Britain at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, to right their wrongs and progress to the knockout stages.

It will be more difficult for Switzerland, though, who must beat Mexico to make the quarter-finals having drawn with Gabon and lost to South Korea in their two games so far.

Attacking midfielder Pajtim Kasami will be hoping that good form for his country can persuade his club coach, Martin Jol, to promote him to the first team at Fulham, but the 20-year-old Macedonia-born player could only express his frustration after the Taegeuk Warriors claimed victory.

"I think the second goal was just stupid, a little bit of luck and it went in," he bemoaned, before turning his attention to the performance of the match official in a very physical match at the City of Coventry Stadium.

"I'm not happy with the referee," Kasami continued. "I've never seen that in football, a yellow card in the first minute. I had about 10 fouls against me and he didn't give them one yellow card [for those fouls]. In the first half, all the time I was on the floor."

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