Messi Decides to Prioritize Copa America

At 36 years old, Argentine star rules out Olympics
Ecuador v Argentina - International Friendly
Ecuador v Argentina - International Friendly / Omar Vega/GettyImages

Lionel Messi has made a decision: he will not participate in the Paris Olympics with the Argentine national team. In a candid and thoughtful statement, the Inter Miami player justified his choice, emphasizing that his absolute priority is the Copa America.

At 36, Messi shows a maturity not only in his technical skills but also in his career strategy. The Argentine acknowledges that participating in two high-level tournaments consecutively would be "too much".

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"I spoke with Mascherano (coach of the Olympic Argentina team) and the truth is that we both understand the situation," Messi revealed. "It's tough because we're in the Copa America. It would be two, three months in a row away from the club and, more than anything, I'm not at the age to be in all of them. I have to choose carefully, and playing two tournaments in a row would be too much."

From his rise at Barcelona to his recent move to Inter Miami, Messi has always shown a remarkable balance between sporting ambition and personal responsibility. His decision to decline the Olympic call-up, therefore, should not be seen as a lack of interest but rather as a conscious choice for his continued performance.

Over the years, Messi has accumulated not only titles but also a deep understanding of the physical and mental challenges that accompany his profession. At 36, each season represents a test of endurance and adaptation. Choosing to focus exclusively on the Copa America is not just a short-term strategy; it's an investment in his ability to compete at a high level in the medium term.

His previous experience at the Olympics, where he was a key player in winning gold in Beijing 2008 alongside Di María, has not been forgotten. "I was very fortunate to play in the Olympics, to win them alongside Masche. Under-20s, memories I will never forget," Messi recalled with gratitude.