Football
Lionel Messi set to make history with another Olympics appearance? Know details

Lionel Messi set to make history with another Olympics appearance? Know details

Lionel Messi will have to choose either Copa America or the Olympics game next year.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach recently said that he hopes to see Messi in the coming Olympics 2024 at Paris. If Messi helps the Argentina team win another gold medal in the Olympics next year, he will have made history. Javier Mascherano, the coach of Argentina’s U-20 team which will participate in the Olympics next year, also expressed previously he would like to have Messi and Angel Di Maria participate. However, with Copa America ending days before the Olympics, it might not happen.

Before Lionel Messi took the world by storm with the Argentina senior team, he won the Olympic gold medal in 2008 with the U-23 team. Olympic football teams need to be formed with U-23 players. This comes with the exception of 3 senior overage players. Messi played alongside Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria, Sergio Romero, and more to win the 2008 Olympics. The three senior players in the midst were Juan Roman Riquelme who was the captain, Nicolas Pareja, and Javier Mascherano. 

As he became a part of the senior team, it took a long time for Lionel Messi to win a major trophy with Argentina. He fought with his team year after year. Argentina went into 4 major international tournament finals and lost. It wasn’t until the 2021 Copa America that Messi won his first major trophy with the senior team. Messi and Co. then went on to win against the European champions, Italy in the Finalissima. They went into the 2022 World Cup as favourites and won that tournament as well.

As the Olympics 2024 is approaching fast, Thomas Bach, the IOC President recently said during an interview with Argentine reporters, “It would be fantastic if he [Messi] could be here. The Games are an ambition for many football stars, such as [Kylian] Mbappe. For Lionel Messi it would mean a chance to write history once again. He could be the only player in history to have two gold medals and a World Cup. I don’t want to interfere in the decisions of the coach, but it would be a great opportunity for Messi.”

IOC President Thomas Bach invited Lionel Messi to participate in the Olympics 2024, but the Argentina captain could go for Copa America 2024

He added, “If he plays, Argentina would have a higher chance of winning the gold medal, it would be fantastic for football and the Olympic Games.” Messi already said that he might not play in the 2026 World Cup. Hence, he might choose to end his career at a high by breaking another record by winning gold medals at the Olympics again. However, Copa America is set to be held between the 20th of June to the 14th of July. Whereas, the Olympics will start on 26th July next year.

Argentina U-20 coach Javier Mascherano expressed the wish to see both Messi and Angel Di Maria as part of his entourage. However, both events have a very little gap and it will be in the middle of the MLS season. Argentina’s senior team will be focused on the Copa America and Inter Miami will be determined to win their first-ever MLS. Hence, Miami might not agree to let go of their ace in the middle of the season. Especially following one break already in the books for the Copa America.

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