Javier Mascherano may be resigned to losing Lionel Messi for 2024 Olympic Games

Lionel Messi in action for Inter Miami (Image: (Image: Getty))

Lionel Messi’s chances of competing at the 2024 Paris Olympics are looking slim. The Inter Miami star, who won the World Cup with his nation, is looking to extend his record on an international level this summer.

Argentina are also competing in the Copa America, of which they are the defending champions. To prepare for the big event, Argentina will face off against Ecuador on June 9 and Guatemala five days later.

On top of this, Messi’s club ambitions involve guiding Inter Miami to retain their Leagues Cup trophy, which was David Beckham’s club’s first-ever title. If all these weren’t challenging enough, Messi might also compete in the 2024 Paris Games, adding to his 2008 gold medal.

Argentina’s U-23 men’s team managed to qualify for the Olympic soccer tournament by defeating Brazil, holders of the gold medal, with a score of 1-0. Oversize players, up to three per team, are allowed, making Messi eligible for selection.

Javier Mascherano is desperate for Lionel Messi to play in the Olympics (Image: (Image: Getty))

When asked about Messi’s potential participation in his squad, Javier Mascherano, now coach of Argentina’s U-23 team and Messi’s former teammate, stated: “I’ll talk to Leo. I’ve said that already. “Obviously he has an open invitation, but it will depend on his commitments. He has Copa América and a bunch of other important things in between. We’ll talk.”

Despite Mascherano’s hopeful outlook, it seems unlikely Messi will be able to contribute to more Olympic success for his country due to his busy summer schedule. The Copa America kicks off on June 21, with the final scheduled for July 14 in Miami. If Argentina makes it to the final, Messi will then return to Inter Miami to participate in the Leagues Cup, which starts on July 26.

The football at the Olympics will start on the same date, which means he likely won’t be able to take part. It was back in February when Javier Mascherano openly invited Messi to form part of his squad for the Olympic Games. The former Liverpool and Barcelona midfielder spoke highly of his friendship with him, he said: “Everyone already knows my relationship with Leo [Messi], the friendship I have.

“A player like him has the doors open to accompany us [at the Olympics], then it will obviously depend on him and his commitments.”

Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, expressed his wish last October to see the sporting legend participate in the prestigious global event once again.

“For Lionel Messi, it would be an opportunity to write history again,” he told journalists during a visit to Argentina. “If he would play in Paris and Argentina would win the gold medal, then he would be the only football player in history to have won two Olympic gold medals and the World Cup.

“I cannot interfere in the coach’s decisions, but it would be fantastic for him to write history, it would be fantastic for football having his appearance and it would be fantastic for the Olympic Games to have him back there at the Games,” he continued. “Let’s keep our fingers crossed.”

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1871414/Lionel-Messi-Olympics-Argentina-Copa-America