Lionel Messi to miss Olympics but leaves door open for 2026 World Cup | Football News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi has revealed in an ESPN interview that he will not pursue a second Olympic gold medal with Argentina in Paris this summer.
The Inter Miami forward explained his decision, stating, “I spoke with (Argentinian Olympic coach Javier) Mascherano, and we immediately agreed on the situation.”
“It’s a difficult moment, because there’s the Copa America, and that would mean two or three consecutive months away from my club.
“At my age, I don’t want to play everything and I need to make the right choices,” added the former Barcelona star who was a member of Argentina’s 2008 Olympic gold medal winning team.
The Copa America, which will take place from June 20 to July 14 in the United States, will see Messi representing the defending champions Argentina.
The Olympics are set to begin shortly after, on July 26.
Messi, who turns 37 on June 24, however, has not closed the door on taking part in a record-breaking sixth World Cup, to be held in 2026 between the US, Canada and Mexico.
“It’s great to have records and continue to achieve things but I won’t take part in a World Cup just to say I’ve done six,” said Messi.
“If I feel good and everything is in place for me to be there, fine, but I won’t go just to go”.
“It’s very difficult to imagine what can happen because it’s still two years away. I don’t need to commit right now to whether or not I’ll be there.”

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