|Host country||South Korea|
|Dates||17 September - 1 October|
|Teams||16 (from 6 confederations)|
|Venue(s)||6 (in 5 host cities)|
|Third place||West Germany|
|Goals scored||95 (2.97 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Romário (7 goals)|
A 16 teams football tournament was played as part of the 1988 Summer Olympics. The tournament featured men's national teams from six continental confederations. The 16 teams are drawn into four groups of four and each group played a round-robin tournament. At the end of the group stage, the top two teams advanced to the knockout stage, beginning with the quarter-finals and culminating with the gold medal match at the Seoul Olympic Stadium on 1 October 1988.
The USSR team purposefully did not use some strong players in the FIFA World Cup 1986 and UEFA Euro 1988, so that they would be able to participate in the Olympic tournament. During the Olympics, the Soviets primarily stayed on a yacht rather than in the Olympic Village. After winning the gold medal, each player from the Soviet team received 15 thousand dollars from the Soviet government.
|Olympic Stadium||Dongdaemun Stadium||Busan Stadium|
|Capacity: 69,950||Capacity: 26,383||Capacity: 30,000|
|Daegu Stadium||Daejeon Stadium||Gwangju Stadium|
|Capacity: 23,278||Capacity: 30,000||Capacity: 30,000|
| Soviet Union (URS)
| Brazil (BRA)
Luiz Carlos Winck
| West Germany (FRG)|
Note: The players above the line played at least one game in this tournament, the players below the line were only squad members. Nevertheless, the International Olympic Committee medal database credits them all as medalists.
The following 16 teams qualified for the 1988 Olympics football tournament:
|Means of qualification||Berths||Qualified|
|Host nation||1||South Korea|
|AFC Preliminary Competition||2|| China PR|
|CAF Preliminary Competition||3|| Nigeria|
|CONCACAF Preliminary Competition||2|| Guatemala|
|1987 CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament||2|| Brazil (winner)|
|OFC Preliminary Competition||1||Australia|
|UEFA Preliminary Competition||5|| Italy |
Each country was allowed to enter a team of 20 players and they all were eligible for participation. A total number of 314 footballers were entered.
A total of 268(*) footballers from 16 nations competed at the Seoul Games:
(*) NOTE: Players who participated in at least one match.
|Quarter-finals||Semi-finals||Gold medal match|
|25 September - Daegu|
|27 September - Busan|
|25 September - Busan|
|Soviet Union (aet)||3|
|1 October - Seoul|
|Soviet Union (aet)||2|
|25 September - Gwangju|
|27 September - Seoul|
|West Germany||1 (2)|
|25 September - Seoul|
|Brazil (aet)||1 (3)||Bronze medal match|
|30 September - Seoul|
|1||Soviet Union (URS)||6||5||1||0||14||6||+8||11|
|3||West Germany (FRG)||6||4||1||1||16||4||+12||9|
|11||South Korea (KOR)||3||0||2||1||1||2||−1||2|
|12||United States (USA)||3||0||2||1||3||5||−2||2|
With seven goals, Romário of Brazil was the top scorer in the tournament. In total, 95 goals were scored by 53 different players, with only one of them credited as own goal.