‘Beijing 2008, then Paris 2024?’ Messi mulls Olympic wildcard possibilities

Lionel Messi will try to win a second Olympic gold medal.

Spain’s ‘As’ reported on Monday (June 19) that “Argentina U-20 national team coach Javier Mascherano said he wants Messi and Angel di Maria to play in the 2024 Pai Olympics. Messi is sadly coming to the end of his time representing Argentina. Messi and Di Maria could be options for coach Mascherano,” he said, raising the possibility of a wild card.

Global outlet Goal.com also reported that “Argentina is considering calling up Di Maria and Messi. The pair won gold together at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Argentina would love to see Messi in the Olympic squad, but there is also the 2024 CONMEBOL Copa America to be held next summer,” Mascherano said in an interview.

According to the outlet, Mascherano told TyC Sports: “Obviously, it would be a great pride to be with the two champions, they are the ones who deserve to decide (whether to go to the Olympics). Obviously, Messi and Di Maria are part of that,” he said.

Last summer, Messi was finally crowned world champion. After being overshadowed by Pele and Diego Maradona in terms of international success, Messi won the 2021 Copa America and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

It’s the culmination of a ‘four-for-five’ season. The GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) was crowned champion at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after winning the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the 2010 World Cup in South Africa (quarterfinals), the 2014 World Cup in Brazil (runner-up), and the 2018 World Cup in Russia (round of 16).

The title didn’t come cheap. Messi announced his international retirement at the 2016 Copa America Centenario, after falling to his knees in the final against Chile. He was already a world-class player, but the weight and responsibility was too much to bear. The Argentine returned to the national team after the entire country urged him to do so, and six years later, he was back on top of the world.

However, controversy arose with his club. Messi’s relationship with PSG fell apart after his controversial trip to Saudi Arabia. There were even boos for Messi at the Parc des Princes. In the end, PSG and Messi parted ways this summer without a contract extension.

Messi’s options were narrowed down to two destinations. The Saudis, who lured him with astronomical money, and his hometown Barcelona, where he could have a last dance in Europe.

For Messi, the money was the main attraction. As he approached the point of hanging up his cleats, he could accumulate wealth from his huge salary. Barcelona, on the other hand, had the advantage of continuing to compete at the highest level. Messi was known to want to play in Europe until the 2024 Copa America, so a return to his hometown team was a possibility.

But the choice was unexpected. I decided on Miami, a city that had been mentioned in the past. While not as lucrative as Saudi Arabia, the salary is still astronomical and the location is perfect for families.

The specific salary was also revealed. “Co-chairman Jorge Mas revealed to Spanish newspaper El País how much he will pay Messi,” said Forbes. Mas, a billionaire who is the chairman and largest shareholder of construction engineering company Mastec, said he would pay Messi ‘between $50 million and $60 million a year.

“I didn’t see it (the deal) being finalized until the end of May. I didn’t want Messi to feel pressure. We talked in Barcelona, Miami, Rosario, Doha,” he said, opening up about the process of signing Messi. Of course, that’s just the base salary. If you add in all the big sponsorships, it’s a lot of money.

Co-owner Beckham also said, “When I was building a team in Miami 10 years ago, I had a dream of bringing in the best player in the world. Players who shared the ambition I had when I joined the LA Galaxy (as a player) helped build a legacy in soccer for the next generation. Today that dream has come true. We are so proud to have a player like Messi join us. We are thrilled to welcome him to Miami and the next chapter begins here.”

Messi is taking the Americas by storm without even getting used to it. With Messi in the fold, Miami has done a 180. Sitting at the bottom of the US Major League Soccer (MLS) Eastern Conference, Miami went on to win the League Cup, defeating Chivas USA (2-1), Atlanta United (4-0), Orlando City (3-1), FC Dallas (4-4 draw, 5-3 on penalties), Charlotte (4-0), Philadelphia Union (4-1), and Nashville (1-1 draw, 10-9 on penalties).

Hard carry, literally. Messi racked up a whopping 11 offensive points (10 goals, 1 assist) in seven games. Miami scored 22 goals and conceded eight in seven League Cup games. No one thought Miami, who were considered the underdogs in all of MLS, would make it all the way to the League Cup final. It’s a miracle that was accomplished by one player, Messi.

It’s certainly a happy time in the United States. A controversial interview ahead of the League Cup final. According to Marca, “Messi attended his first press conference since joining Miami. He led Miami to its first final in history. Messi talked about a number of topics during the press conference, which had to be closed due to lack of seating.”

Argentina’s TyC Sports reported, “Messi spoke to the media for the first time ahead of the League Cup final. He is 29 days away from his earliest final since arriving in the United States and his first title with Miami. Here’s what he said in his first press conference,” highlighting Messi’s press conference.

According to the outlet, Messi added: “We are in a period of great change, both for me and for the club, and we continue to grow. Winning a title helps a lot. It would be amazing. The Miami fans support and accompany us every game. The first title would be a beautiful thing for everyone.” 온라인바카라

He was asked about life in the United States. “I was on vacation for a month and a half, and at first training and matches were hard. It was very hot and humid, and some of my teammates did not adapt to this climate and suffered. Now I’ve adapted and I’m very comfortable. I don’t have any problems.”

He also spoke about his former club PSG. “I’m happy to be enjoying the experience of living on a new stage and in a new country, something that has always captured my heart. We are where we wanted to be. I didn’t ask to go to PSG. It was hard because I didn’t want to leave Barcelona, but now I’m the complete opposite,” he said, expressing his satisfaction with life in Miami.

That has raised the possibility that Messi could play in the Olympics. Mascherano, who now coaches Argentina’s age-group national team, said that both Di Maria and Messi, who played together as players, are options to consider for the 2024 Olympics in Paris next summer.

Messi and Mascherano won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Other members of that squad included Di Maria, Sergio Aguero, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Juan Roman Riquelme, and Pablo Zabaleta. If Messi is added to the mix, it could be a “disruptor of the Olympic ecosystem.

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