Paris Olympics 2024: will Lionel Messi represent Argentina at the event?

The summer 2024 Olympics, a global sporting spectacle, are on the horizon and are set to take place in the French capital, Paris, in July. Argentina has cemented its place in the main event by defeating the current gold medalist, Brazil, in the South American Olympic qualifiers.

The Argentinian U-23 team, managed by former Barcelona and Argentine midfielder Javier Mascherano, has extended an invitation to their senior team captain, Lionel Messi, to join the prodigious team for the Olympic games. This move comes amidst hopes from French club presidents for Kylian Mbappé’s participation in the event.

Will Lionel Messi represent Argentina at Paris Olympics 2024?

Argentina’s Under-23 team secured their Olympic qualification by knocking out their arch-rivals, Brazil’s Under-23, in a decisive fixture with a 1-0 triumph. Edging past the defending medal holders, they finished second on the points table, with Paraguay winning the table. 

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Luciano Gondou scored the decisive header, assisted by a cross from 19-year-old Argentine Valentín Barco, Brighton’s January signing. Attention turned post-match to manager Javier Mascherano, where he was questioned about the possibility of eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi’s participation, amidst early speculations.

He said, “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 depend on him, his compromises, and his time, but the invitation will be there.” 

Thiago Almada, the captain of the squad and Atlanta United star, also supported his coach’s viewpoint, expressing his eagerness to have the Inter Miami talisman on their side.

He said, “I hope Messi has the desire and can be at the Olympic Games; it would be a dream. If Messi comes, I’ll give him the captain’s armband. Now, they are the ones who have to decide if they come,” to Dsports.

Lionel Messi’s Olympics exploits

Lionel Messi led Argentina to victory in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, adding to his earlier achievement with the national team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he played an instrumental role in securing the gold medal by scoring two goals. 

Messi, 23, was part of a star-studded Argentine squad that included Sergio Agüero, Ángel Di María, and Javier Mascherano, among other notable players.

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Being a Barcelona star even back then, this tournament was marked as an important event in the early stages of his career in Argentina’s colors. However, the potential involvement of the 36-year-old in the Paris Games may be challenging, given his role as captain in his team’s defense of the South American championship title at the upcoming 2024 Copa America in June.

Do you want to see Messi play at the Olympics once again? Make sure to tell us in the comments section.


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