BUENOS AIRES, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) — Argentinian soccer player Lionel?Messi will not feature in the South American country’s national team at the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, announced coach Gerardo Martino on Monday.
“Messi will not be going to the Olympic Games because there is a lot of competition within the team during the year,” the national team’s coach told local radio station La Red in the capital city of Buenos Aires.
The 28-year-old forward for Spain’s Barcelona played in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 where the team won the gold medal.
On this occasion, Argentina defended their title which they also won in Athens 2004 while in London 2012, the team failed to qualify.
Martino said he would make up a team full of players that would represent the future of Argentina’s national soccer team.
The Olympic regulations allow countries to include three players over 23-years-old in their teams.