Argentine star Lionel Messi has been offered the captaincy ahead of the Olympics – if he takes part.
The World Cup winners saw their Under-23s beat Brazil Under-23s 1-0 on Sunday night to qualify for this summer’s Olympics in France.
Current captain Thiago Almada has, however, said he would be willing to give up the armband if Messi joins the team at the Paris Games.
The Atlanta United ace, who plays alongside Inter Miami superstar in MLS, hopes the 36-year-old can be convinced to join the team.
He said Sports: “I am very happy for the group and the staff, they deserve it.
“We showed that we were better throughout the tournament, always outperforming our opponent.
“We have time to train and continue to improve for the Olympic Games.
“I hope Messi has the desire and can be at the Olympic Games, it would be a dream. If Messi comes, I will give him the captain’s armband, obviously.
“Now they have to decide if they come. »
The rules surrounding soccer teams at the Olympics state that they must be 23 years old or younger, although they are allowed to have a maximum of three older players.
Argentina has not won gold at the Olympics since 2008 in Beijing, the last time Messi was part of the team as he led a golden generation including Sergio Aguero, Angel di Maria and Juan Roman Riquelme.
While there is a chance Messi could commit to the team, it seems unlikely with the Copa America also happening this summer.
The tournament is scheduled to take place from June 20 to July 14 in the United States.
And the Olympics are scheduled two weeks later, while the MLS season also takes place at the same time, meaning the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner is expected to miss the action for Inter Miami.
Messi has already won the Olympics after leading them to gold in 2008 while he also won the Copa America in 2021, which was postponed for a year due to Covid.
A year after Argentina’s Copa America success, Argentina won the World Cup with Messi once again as the main man, scoring twice in an electric final against France, won on penalties .
For many, this ended the debate on who is the GOAT after winning a total of international trophies ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, who won a European Championship with Portugal but no World Cup.
News Source : talksport.com