Messi rules out Olympics participation with Argentina

By Sports Desk June 13, 2024

Lionel Messi has ruled out the possibility of participating in the Paris Olympics, conceding "it would be too much to play two straight tournaments".

Messi is gearing up for Argentina's Copa America title defence, which begins against Canada on June 20, while they will also face Chile and Peru in Group A.

The final takes place on July 14, with the Olympic tournament beginning in Paris 10 days later. 

With three overage players allowed per team in the primarily under-23 event, leading to speculation that Messi could feature for La Albiceleste.

However, the 36-year-old, who was a gold medallist in Beijing 16 years ago, revealed he would not be partcipating following a discussion with Argentina under-23s coach - and former team-mate - Javier Mascherano.

"I talked to Mascherano and the truth is we both understood the situation," Messi told ESPN.

"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, and win it together with [Mascherano].

"It was a wonderful experience on a football level. Olympics, under-20s, memories I'll never forget."

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