International Olympic Committee want Lionel Messi at the 2024 Olympics
After Argentina u-20 manager Javier Mascherano admitted he wanted Messi at the Games, the International Olympic Committee have done the same.
Seeing Lionel Messi at the 2024 Olympic Games is a dream for the International Olympic Committee and their President, Thomas Bach, who is “crossing his fingers” that the World Cup winner will be present at what is one of the great sporting events in the world.
“It would be fantastic if he could be here”, Bach said. “The games are an ambition for many football stars, such as [Kylian] Mbappé.” The Frenchman ended his spat with PSG in order to be prepared for the 2024 Olympics and EURO 2024 tournament. “For Lionel Messi”, Bach went on, “it would mean a chance to write history once again”.
Messi in the squad would benefit Argentina, the Olympics and football, says Bach
“He could be the only player in history to have two gold medals and a World Cup.” Messi won Olympic gold with Argentina at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
Bach talked about the benefits Argentina would have in being able to count on the World Cup winner for the tournament, as well as what his presence would bring to the Olympics as a whole: “I don’t want to interfere in the decisions of the coach, but it would be a great opportunity for Messi”, he said, “if he plays, Argentina would have a higher chance of winning the gold medal; it would be fantastic for football and the Olympic Games.”
Messi, Di María and manager Scaloni could all join the team
Last September, the u-20 Argentina coach, former Liverpool and Barcelona player, Javier Mascherano, publicly admitted that he would like to have both Lionel Messi and Ángel Di María in his squad for the upcoming Olympics in Paris, saying that “it would be an honour for us to have two world champions.”
“There are players who have earned the power to decide what they want to do”, he continued, “and Leo and Ángel are that type of player. Also, I told [Lionel] Scaloni (the Argentina first-team manager) that if we qualify and he wants to be the coach, he has every right in the world to do so.”
How does Olympic football qualification work for CONMEBOL teams?
In order to be able to qualify for the Games, the u-23 side will have to make it through the pre-Olympic tournament which will take place in Venezuela between January 20 and February 11. The ten CONMEBOL teams will fight for two places which will give them a ticket to the Olympics.
Argentina are in Group B alongside Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay and Peru while Group A is made up of Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador. The two top teams in each group will advance to the next phase in which all teams will play against each other in a mini-league with the top two sides sealing their passage to the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.