Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Lionel Messi will not chase a second Olympic gold
medal at the Rio de Janeiro Games in August,
Argentina coach Gerardo Martino said on Monday.
Martino added he did not want the Barcelona
forward, who will captain Argentina at the
Centennial Copa America in the United States in
June, to suffer burnout after a demanding season.
He can take three over-age players in his U23
squad to the Rio Games but Messi, who helped
Argentina win their second Olympic title in Beijing
in 2008, will not be one of them.
“Messi won’t go to the Olympic Games because
there is a lot of competition for the national team
this year,” Martino said with World Cup qualifiers
also in mind.
“We have the Copa America, the Olympic Games
and after that four rounds of the qualifiers,” he told
Radio La Red.
“The reality at Barcelona shows the season will be
long. I want to win very much but not at any price,
nor for throwing the players on to the pitch for
them to die there.”
Messi led Argentina to the 2014 World Cup final in
Rio where they lost 1-0 to Germany after extra
time.
The 16-team Copa America, to celebrate 100 years
of the world’s oldest active international football
tournament, will be played from June 3-26 with the
10-member nations of South America’s
CONMEBOL and six from rival region CONCACAF
taking part.

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