Paris Olympics

Messi says he won’t play for Argentina in Paris Olympics

Reuters

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Messi says he won’t play for Argentina in Paris Olympics

STAR POWER. Argentina forward Lionel Messi dribbles the ball as Ecuador midfielder Joao Ortiz defends during an international friendly.

Daniel Bartel/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Football superstar Lionel Messi, who won an Olympic gold with Argentina in 2008, says he’s ‘not at an age to be in everything,’ even as he received an invitation to join the Paris Games

Lionel Messi said he will not be part of Argentina’s squad for the Paris Olympics as he is no longer at an age where he can play in every tournament.

The 36-year-old Inter Miami forward is currently preparing for Argentina’s Copa America title defense, which runs from June 20 to July 14 in the United States.

In February, under-23 manager Javier Mascherano said Messi, who won gold with Argentina at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, had an invitation to join the squad for Paris.

“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, 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 Olympics takes place in July and August. Teams are allowed three overage players in their squads. – Rappler.com

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