Argentina manager Gerardo Martino has confirmed that Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi will not be part of the team that takes part in the Olympics.
He says that the 28-year-old has been playing non-stop football for a long time and he needs a rest in the summer. Messi is seen as the biggest hope for Argentina to win the Olympic gold medal. Messi achieved this feat with the national team back in 2008. He can now join their national team as part of the three older players involved in the squad. However, Martino is not ready to use this advantage since he wants Messi to recuperate.
Only three players about the age of 23 can be included in the Olympics squad. Since Martino has a wealth of experience of the attackers to choose from, he is likely to go for options like Sergio Aguero or Gonzalo Higuain. The Centennial Copa America will be the first challenge for Martino and this tournament begins in the first week of June. This will be followed by the Olympics in August. The need for a fresh Messi has been highlighted on a number of occasions. His participation in the Olympics is hindered by the presence of World Cup qualifiers during this period.
“Messi will not go to the Olympic Games. We have the Copa America, the Olympic Games, and World Cup qualifiers in September, October and November,” said Martino. Barcelona’s Messi is regarded as the greatest player on the planet. He has won every domestic honour possible, but his search for the ultimate crown on the international scene goes on. He has not won the World Cup with his best effort coming in 2014 when Argentina reached the final. Since making his debut in 2005, Messi has gone on to make more than 100 appearances for the South American nation.