Too much strain

Forgoing the Olympics: Lionel Messi is feeling his age

13.06.2024 10:41

Soccer superstar Lionel Messi has decided not to take part in the Olympic Games. The 36-year-old Argentinian confirmed to US broadcaster ESPN that he would not be taking part in Paris, explaining that the strain was too much.

"I have to choose carefully, and two tournaments in a row would simply have been too much. I was very lucky to play and win at the Olympics," said Messi. He is no longer at an age where he can play everything. In 2008, Messi became Olympic champion in Beijing together with current Olympic coach Javier Mascherano. "The Olympics is something special, it's different from all other tournaments."

Lionel Messi (Bild: APA/Getty Images via AFP/GETTY IMAGES/Megan Briggs)
Lionel Messi

Copa America becomes a home game
Messi is currently preparing to defend his title at the Copa America with the Argentinian national team in the USA. In the opening game next Thursday, the world champions will face the Canadians, coached by ex-Salzburg coach Jesse Marsch, in Atlanta. The Olympic soccer tournament begins on July 24.

The Copa, which Messi only won for the first time in 2021, will be a kind of home game for the world champion. After all, the Argentine has been shaping Inter Miami's game since July 2023. So far this season, Messi's statistics show eleven goals and twelve assists in twelve games. Miami leads the Eastern Conference.

His contract in Miami runs until the end of 2025, and Messi would also like to end his career at investor David Beckham's club, as he has repeatedly announced. "I think Miami will be my last club," said Messi. "Coming here from Europe was a difficult step. It helped to become world champion and look at things from a different perspective."

Thoughts of the end of his career
Messi is already often thinking about the end of his career. "That's why I'm trying to enjoy everything," said the four-time Champions League winner. "I know that the end is getting closer and closer and I want to have a good time. It's the little details that I'll miss one day. I've done this my whole life. I've enjoyed training, everyday life and match days. And yes, there's always the fear that one day that will be over."

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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