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Messi rules out Olympics appearance, says would be “too much” following Copa America

June 14, 2024 4:32 PM IST

Argentina’s FIFA World Cup-winning skipper and legendary striker Lionel Messi confirmed that he would not be participating in the Paris 2024 Olympics, as he believes that the event will be “too much” for him at his age.

Paris Olympics 2024 will kickstart from July 26 and will go on till August 11. The competition will start after the Copa America football tournament concludes, which will go on from June 20 to July 14. The U23 coach of Argentina, Javier Mascherano had expressed hope to get the legendary footballer on board for an Olympic appearance, but now Messi has ruled it out.

Making an Olympic appearance would also mean staying away from his club Inter Miami and it was among the factors in the decision taken by Messi.

“I talked to Mascherano and the truth is we both understood the situation,” said Messi.

“I have to choose carefully, and it would be too much to play two straight tournaments. I have been very lucky to play in the Olympics, of winning it together with Masche. It was a wonderful experience on a football level,” he added.

The pair were a part of the Argentina squad that secured the gold medal in the Beijing Olympics back in 2008, beating Nigeria in the final by 1-0.

While disappointed that he would not get another chance to play at the Olympics and add to his medals, Messi is hopeful that the other players will enjoy their experience at Paris.

“It is 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 was special. The Olympics are special, different from anything else,” he concluded.

On the opinion of his ex-Paris Saint Germain (PSG) teammate Kylian Mbappe that Euros are much more difficult to win than a FIFA World Cup, Messi said that the Euros are important, but leave out several world champion teams like Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay etc.

“The Euros are very important, but it leaves out Argentina, three-time world champion; Brazil, five-time world champion; Uruguay, two-time world champion. There are many world champions left out to say that the Euros is the most difficult, right? In the World Cup, the best teams are there, all the world champions are generally there. That is why everyone wants to be world champion,” Messi added.

Argentina will kickstart their title defence at Copa America from June 20 onwards against Canada.

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Last updated on: 24th July 2024