Messi at the 2024 Olympics: A Golden Opportunity for Argentina

As the sports world eagerly anticipates the 2024 Paris Olympics, one question looms large in international soccer circles: will Lionel Messi, one of the greatest legends of the sport, play in the Olympics? The answer is not set in stone, but the words of the Argentine national team’s coach, Javier Mascherano, shed a positive light on this possibility.

Argentina, recently crowned champions of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, is seriously considering summoning Messi to represent his country once again, this time at the Olympic Games. The last time Messi participated in the Olympics, in 2008, his skill and passion for the game contributed to Argentina’s gold medal win in Beijing. The memory of that triumph still lives on in the hearts of Argentine fans, and the idea of seeing Messi chase another Olympic gold is thrilling.

Javier Mascherano, Messi’s former teammate and the current coach of the Argentine U-20 national team, has clearly expressed his desire to have Messi on the Olympic squad. In his words, “It would clearly be a source of great pride for us to have two World Cup champions and players of this caliber. There are players who deserve to make certain decisions. And clearly, Leo and Angel are a part of that.”

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA – 2023/09/07: Lionel Messi of Argentina looks on during a match between Argentina and Ecuador as part of FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers at Estadio Mas Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti. Final Score: Argentina 1:0 Ecuador. (Photo by Manuel Cortina/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The prospect of Messi alongside Angel Di Maria, another talented veteran of Argentine soccer, is fascinating. Both have played crucial roles in Argentina’s triumphs over the years and have shown unwavering commitment to the national team.

While the discussion about Messi’s participation in the Olympics gains momentum, it is also important to remember that the Copa America is in the mix. High-caliber players face a grueling schedule throughout their careers and need to balance their priorities. Messi, who has already stated that he does not plan to play in the 2026 World Cup, may see the 2024 Olympics as a unique opportunity to cap off his international career on a high note, adding an Olympic gold medal to his already impressive résumé.

For Argentine fans, the prospect of Messi at the Olympics is a dream that seems increasingly real. It’s a chance to celebrate a sports icon and, at the same time, give a boost to the Argentine team in their quest for more glory. Now, all that remains is to wait and see if Messi decides to accept the invitation to Paris in 2024, but regardless of the outcome, his legacy in the global soccer world will remain unshakable.