Messi disappointed to miss Olympics | The Daily Star
02:48 PM, May 10, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:52 PM, May 10, 2016

Messi disappointed to miss out on Argentina squad for 'spectacular' Olympics

Argentina captain Lionel Messi admitted he would have liked play at the Olympic Games after he was left out of the squad in order to take part in the Copa America Centenario.

Coach Gerardo Martino opted against making Messi - who won gold at the Beijing Games in 2008 - compete at both June's Copa America and the Olympics in August.

Martino stressed that the Barcelona star agreed with the decision as the Albiceleste aim to make up for their disappointment in last year's disappointing Copa America final loss to Chile.

But Messi, who is on the cusp of another La Liga title heading into the final round of the season, has still conceded he is disappointed not be involved for the campaign in Rio de Janeiro.

"I would have liked to go because it was a spectacular experience for me to play in the [2008] Olympics, just as it was for the [2005] Under-20 World Cup," Messi told ESPN.

"Not just because we won, but for the experience I gained.

"It was a great experience to stay in the Olympic Village and meet other elite athletes from other sports and to be just another athlete among them.

"That was very spectacular even though we didn't spend a lot of time in the village.

"The World Cup is great but the Olympics are something special."

Argentina - runners-up to Chile at last year's Copa America - will now have a fully-focused Messi at their disposal as they bid to win the competition for the first time since 1993.

The 14-time champions - drawn in Group D - will face defending champions Chile in a rematch of the 2015 final on June 6 in the United States, followed by games against Panama and Bolivia.

"It is a new Copa, different. Very nice in the United States and very different from what I have played before because of the people, the stadiums," Messi said.

"That will make it different and for us, a new chance."

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