Argentina coach Gerardo Martino has confirmed that Lionel Messi is unlikely to feature at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The 28-year-old guided his country to gold in Beijing in 2008 and suggested last year that he would be open to competing again in Brazil.
But Martino has made it clear that he has no intention of putting Messi at risk of injury by asking him to attend the Games after playing in the Copa America in June.
“Messi won’t go to the Olympic Games because there are a lot of competitions for the national team this year,” Martino told Radio La Red.
“We have the Copa America, the Olympics and after that a number of World Cup qualifiers. I want to win the Olympics very much but not at any price, nor for throwing the players on to the pitch for them to die there.
“The reality at Barcelona shows the season will be long.”
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