Lionel Messi confirms decision on playing in 2024 Olympic Games

  • Messi rules out representing Argentina at this summer's Olympics
  • 36-year-old already turning out for his country at Copa America
  • Talks with manager Javier Mascherano saw Messi reject a call-up
Messi will not be heading to Paris
Messi will not be heading to Paris / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

Lionel Messi has revealed he will not be part of the Argentina squad for this summer's Olympic Games in Paris.

While the tournament is primarily for players under 23 years old, teams are allowed a maximum of three players over that age, and manager Javier Mascherano has previously admitted he has asked Messi to join.

However, the Inter Miami forward has now confirmed he has rejected the chance to head to the Olympics in order to rest after this summer's Copa America.

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

Lionel Messi
Messi has joined up with the Argentina squad for Copa America / Simon M Bruty/GettyImages

"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 Masche. It was a wonderful experience on a football level. Olympics, Under-20, memories I'll never forget.

"It's spectacular to be fortunate enough to go through all that. I hope that the guys who get to go enjoy it in the same way that I did because it's special. The Olympics are special, different from anything else."

Messi's decision will delight Inter Miami boss Gerardo Martino, who publicly challenged his entire squad to choose either the Copa America or the Olympics, rather than compete at both and miss over two months of club action.