Argentina youth national team coach Javier Mascherano has opened the door to the possibility of star Lionel Messi and his teammate Angel Di Maria, who won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, participating in football competitions at the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics if the team qualifies for the tournament.
Mascherano led the first training sessions for the youth team in order to choose the list that will participate in the Olympic qualifiers, which will be held in Venezuela next January.
Mascherano said – in an interview with the Argentinian “TYC Sports” network – that “the possibility of including three senior players in the team participating in the Olympics is wonderful, and there are players capable of making certain decisions, and it is clear that Leo (Messi) and Angel (Di Maria) are among the players.” This type of player is like the rest of those who won the World Cup.”
🇦🇷 JO 2024: Mascherano brought Messi and Maria to Paris in the prochain ► https://t.co/pPYTZdvQ4M pic.twitter.com/eB30m2QRaQ
— RMC Sport (@RMCsport) September 17, 2023
He added, “It is an honor for us to have Messi and Di Maria with us on the team, but before that we must prepare a strong team that will be able to secure a ticket to qualify for the Olympics through the qualifiers.”
Mascherano would not mind having his compatriot, Lionel Scaloni, coach of the first team, take over as coach of the Argentine Olympic team if it succeeds in qualifying for Paris 2024.
The former Barcelona player said, “If Scaloni wants to lead my team in the Olympics, I will not stand in the way of that, and he will have every right to do so.”
It is noteworthy that Messi and Di Maria previously won a gold medal with the Argentine Olympic team during their participation in the 2008 Olympic Games held in the Chinese capital, Beijing, and it is noteworthy that Mascherano was their teammate.
In that edition, the Argentine national team defeated its Nigerian counterpart in the final with a goal scored by Di Maria in the 59th minute.
Did you imagine Messi and Di María in the Juegos Olímpicos since 2008, now with the mando of Javier Mascherano? 🤩 pic.twitter.com/PWJfJAmhbO
— TNT Sports Argentina (@TNTSportsAR) September 15, 2023
The 33rd edition of the Summer Olympics is scheduled to be held from July 26 to August 11, 2024.
According to the official website of the Paris Olympics, the football competition will begin on July 24, that is, approximately 8 days after the end of the Copa America tournament hosted by the United States.