No Messi in Argentina’s Olympic soccer squad

No Messi in Argentina’s Olympic soccer squad
ABSENT IN OLYMPICS.Argentina’s Lionel Messi looks on at the end of a Copa America Group A soccer match against Peru in Miami Gardens, Fla., Saturday, June 29, 2024. Associated Press

Lionel Messi won’t be in Argentina’s squad at the Olympics starting later this month in Paris.

Coach Javier Mascherano included four World Cup winners in the squad he announced Tuesday, including striker Julián Álvarez and defender Nicolás Otamendi.

The 37-year-old Messi, who has struggled with injuries this year, is now playing at the Copa America, aiming to defend the continental title he won in 2021. That victory served as a springboard for Argentina to lift the World Cup in 2022.

Messi won the gold medal at Beijing in 2008 in his only Olympic campaign.

The Olympic men’s soccer tournament is for under-23 teams, but three older players are allowed on each squad.

Mascherano, who won the Olympic gold medal as a player in 2004 and ’08, will add goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli, Otamendi and Álvarez to his squad after Copa America is finished.

Midfielder Claudio Echeverri, a recent signing for Manchester City from River Plate, will also join.

Argentina will play two friendlies in France before its Olympic soccer tournament opener against Morocco on July 24. Argentina and Morocco are in Group B along with Iraq and Ukraine. / AP


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