Sports

Messi will not play for Argentina at 2024 Olympics

Under-23 manager Javier Mascherano had extended an invitation to Messi, but Inter Miami forward opted to decline

Lionel Messi has confirmed that he will not be participating in the Paris Olympics with the Argentina squad, citing his age and the demands of playing in multiple tournaments. The 36-year-old forward, currently with Inter Miami, is focused on preparing for Argentina’s Copa America title defense, which takes place in the United States from June 20 to July 14.

Under-23 manager Javier Mascherano had extended an invitation to Messi to join the Olympic squad, given his experience and previous success, having won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. However, Messi explained to ESPN that the decision was mutually understood, emphasizing the difficulty of committing to the Olympics immediately after Copa America.

“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,” Messi said. He acknowledged the physical toll and the need to carefully select his commitments, noting, “I’ve been very lucky to play in the Olympics, of winning it together with (Mascherano). It was a wonderful experience on a football level. Olympics, U20, memories I’ll never forget.”

The men’s football tournament at the Paris Olympics will take place in July and August, with teams permitted to include three overage players in their squads.

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