Lionel Messi unlikely to play in Rio Olympics, Argentina coach says

Lionel Messi
AP
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Lionel Messi is unlikely to be one of a maximum three over-age players on Argentina’s soccer team for the Rio Olympics, national team coach Gerardo Martino said in this video interview published Wednesday.

Martino said a decision on Messi and the Olympics hasn’t been made, but he doesn’t see Messi’s inclusion feasible at least in part because the under-23 national team is stacked with attackers.

Messi, 28, is over the under-23 age limit for Olympic soccer rosters. However, nations can include three players with no age restrictions on the Olympic team.

Messi, then 21, won gold with Argentina at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, despite the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling his club team, Barcelona, did not have to release him to play.

Argentina did not qualify for the 2012 Olympics.

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