Argentina legend Messi to fight for Olympic gold after World Cup glory?

Messi, who guided Argentina to 2022 World Cup victory, won gold with the national team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008

By Reuters

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Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy. — Reuters file
Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy. — Reuters file

Published: Tue 13 Feb 2024, 5:29 PM

Last updated: Tue 13 Feb 2024, 5:30 PM

The door is open for Lionel Messi to play at this year's Paris Olympics, Argentina's under-23 manager Javier Mascherano said.

Argentina secured their place at the Games after beating Brazil 1-0 on Sunday in the final four of South America's qualifying tournament.

Asked about the possibility of 36-year-old Messi playing in Paris, his former Argentina and Barcelona teammate Mascherano told reporters: "Well, everyone knows my relationship with Leo, the friendship I have with him.

"I have always said that a player like Leo has opened doors and the invitation to accompany us then will obviously depend on him, his compromises and his time, but the invitation will clearly be there."

Inter Miami forward Messi, who guided Argentina to World Cup victory in Qatar in 2022, won gold with the national team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

The men's football tournament at the Olympics takes place in July and August. Teams are allowed three overage players in their squads.

But Messi will also play for defending champions Argentina in the 2024 Copa America, which is scheduled to run from June 20 to July 14 in the US.

With the football competition in the Paris Olympic scheduled to start on July 24, it remains to be seen if Messi would be able to join the under-23 team if Argentina reach the final at the Copa America.

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