Explained: Why Lionel Messi won’t play at 2024 Olympic Games in Paris – with two tournaments in one summer ‘too much’ for Argentina & Inter Miami superstar

Explained: Why Lionel Messi won’t play at 2024 Olympic Games in Paris – with two tournaments in one summer ‘too much’ for Argentina & Inter Miami superstar

Lionel Messi Argentina 2024


Inter Miami superstar Lionel Messi has explained why he will not form part of Argentina’s gold medal bid at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris

WHAT HAPPENED?

Javier Mascherano, who will take charge of an U23 side in Paris, had expressed a desire to include eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi as one of three overage players in his squad. It has, however, been determined that such a selection call will not be possible.

Lionel Messi Argentina 2024

WHAT MESSI SAID

Messi is currently on international duty ahead of the 2024 Copa America and has told ESPN Argentina of why he will return to MLS duty at Inter Miami when that competition comes to a close: “I talked to Mascherano and the truth is we both understood the situation. It’s hard [to think about the Olympics right now] because we’re in Copa America. It would be two, three straight months of not being with the club, and more than anything I’m not at an age to be in everything. I have to choose carefully, and it would be too much to play two straight tournaments. I’ve been very lucky to play in the Olympics, of winning it together with Masche. It was a wonderful experience on a football level. Olympics, U20, memories I’ll never forget. It’s spectacular to be fortunate enough to go through all that. I hope that the guys who get to go enjoy it in the same way that I did because it’s special. The Olympics are special, different from anything else.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE

Messi savoured Olympic glory in 2008, at an event in Beijing. While he will not be gracing that tournament again, he has said of potentially extending his international career through to the 2026 World Cup: “I said it, as long as I feel good, I am physically well and I can continue performing at the highest level and helping my team-mates, I would like to continue being there.”

Lionel Messi World Cup trophy 2022

WHAT NEXT?

Global glory was savoured by Messi at Qatar 2022, as he completed a record-breaking medal collection in the most dramatic of fashions, and will continue to rewrite the history books as he adds to hauls of 181 caps and 106 goals for his country.

 

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