Messi says he won't play for Argentina at Paris Olympics

IANS Photo

New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) Lionel Messi has decided not to be part of Argentina's squad for the Paris Olympics as he is no longer at an age where he can play in every tournament.

Messi shared his thoughtful perspective, expressing his gratitude for the invitation from former teammate and under-23 manager Javier Mascherano.

"I talked to Mascherano and the truth is we both understood the situation," Messi told ESPN.

However, with the rigors of Copa America looming large and the demands on his aging physique becoming more pronounced, Messi recognised the importance of pacing himself.

Balancing club commitments, international tournaments, and personal well-being, he conceded that participating in two consecutive tournaments would be too taxing at this stage of his career.

"It's hard (to think about the Olympics right now) because we're in Copa America. It would be two, three straight months of not being with the club, and more than anything I'm not at an age to be in everything.

“I have to choose carefully, and it would be too much to play two straight tournaments. I've been very lucky to play in the Olympics, of winning it together with (Mascherano). It was a wonderful experience on a football level. Olympics, U20, memories I'll never forget.”