Will Messi and his frenetic schedule allow him to make it to the Olympics?

(CNN) — “Let's go,” signed Lionel Messi in a post released by the Argentine Football Association (AFA) minutes after securing a ticket for Albiceleste 2024.

The Albiceleste's top icon joined Argentina's under-23 team in celebration as they beat Brazil 1-0 in the closing stages of Sunday's tournament (with a goal from Luciano Kondú), a goal that qualified them for the Olympics. City of Light.

As soon as the post was made, like a match on dry grass, it quickly caught fire, creating questions (and many illusions) about whether the biggest symbol of the Argentine team could be at the Olympic Games on French soil.

The first to respond to such a special title was Javier Mascherano, coach of Argentina's under-23 team (and friend of the Inter Miami man): “Obviously he has been called up, but it depends on the commitments he has,” he told the media.

The Rosario star has neither confirmed nor ruled out his presence at Paris 2024. But, as Mascherano said, the agenda seems full of commitments. The Argentina captain needs to analyze not just the game, but everything that develops around him, with a ball at his feet beyond magic.

Biology and its fascination appear among these themes. Messi is 36 years old and he will be 37 on June 24, so carefully measuring every step, every match, every trip are important elements that take on a bigger dimension day by day. Taking into account a recent injury and fatigue tour including El Salvador, Saudi Arabia, China and Japan.

Lionel Messi's commitments to Inter Miami and the senior team

Messi's extensive schedule of fixtures is as demanding as the first six months of the year.

With Inter Miami he has three competitions to focus on: MLS, Concachampions and Leagues Cup. He also has the Copa America in the US with the national team, which he will attend.

MLS

Winning the Central United States Football Championship will be the cornerstone of this 2024 first half for the Florida franchise.

Gerardo Martino, the technical director of the pink team, said that when Messi came to Las Garzas, the goal was to qualify for the playoffs (he did not achieve it), and to compete in the League Cup at best in 2023 (he became the champion) .

The roles were reversed based on their game challenges. It is assumed that the focus will be on searching for this match which starts next week.

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Inter Miami will make their debut next Wednesday at the DRV PNK Stadium by hosting Salt Lake. The tournament ends for Florida when they host New England on October 19th. The entire series covers 34 matches.

Lionel Messi during a friendly match at DRV PNK Stadium on November 10, 2023 in Fort Lauderdale. Florida Credit: Megan Briggs/Getty Images

America's Cup in America

It will be a crucial match for Lionel Messi and Argentina. La Pulca will defend their crown in Brazil against Canarinha in 2021.

The old and prestigious tournament will be held from June 20 to July 14.

On June 1, Inter Miami hosts St. Louis City at home. It's a game Messi could miss if he decides to focus with his team. On the 15th of the same month, Inter Miami is a visitor against Philadelphia, which is close to the start of the Copa America, so Messi is unlikely to be with the Herons.

Argentina are in Group A alongside Peru and Chile. A classified addition between Canada or Trinidad and Tobago.

Date 1: Argentina play either Trinidad and Tobago or Canada on June 20. (atlanta)

Date 2: Argentina will face Chile (New Jersey) on June 25.

Date 3: Argentina face Peru on June 29 (Miami).

Quarter Final: Between July 4th and 6th.

Semi Finals: Between July 9 and 10.

Third place: July 13.

Final: July 14.

That means Messi can play a total of seven games. If this happens, the captain of the Argentina national team will be away from Inter Miami for at least seven games.

Inter Miami hosts Toronto on July 17, three days before a hypothetical final in which Argentina could play. It is unlikely that Messi will decide to play in that match with very few days left.

Five days after that fantasy final in Argentina, Inter Miami faces the Columbus Crew at home. Will Messi “be” in this fight?

Lionel Messi of Argentina reacts during the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Argentina and Uruguay on November 16, 2023 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Credit: Marcos Brindici/Getty Images.

Argentina play friendlies against Ivory Coast and Nigeria in March

In this abundance of matches, trips and concentrations appear two friendlies, which Argentina should play in March.

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These commitments were confirmed by the Argentine Football Association and are with the finalists of the recent Africa Cup of Nations: Ivory Coast (champions) and Nigeria.

However, the Beijing Football Association has vowed in recent days that it does not plan to organize any matches featuring Messi after the player was left on the substitutes' bench for the February 4 match in Hong Kong, despite insistence by local authorities. .

Argentina had a friendly with Ivory Coast scheduled for March 26 in Beijing.

Earlier, Hangzhou City canceled another friendly against Nigeria scheduled for the 18th of the same month. “In view of the cause known to all,” they said from the Hangzhou Sports Office.

The decisions in China came after the impact of Messi's absence from a friendly in which the Rosario star missed a friendly due to injury, although he did appear a few days later against Japan's Vissel Kobe.

The AFA is yet to confirm where they will play and whether Messi will be present in these friendlies.

Messi at Paris 2024 Olympics

The man from Rosario was already champion at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and, if he plays in France, it will be his second time competing.

The tournament rules establish that only three players above the age of 23 can join the team.

Messi Beijing

Argentina forwards Lionel Messi (L) and Sergio Aguero pose with their gold medal during the men's Olympic soccer medal ceremony at the National Stadium in Beijing in August 2008 during the men's final between Nigeria and Argentina. , China. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

The Olympics will be held from July 26 to August 11.

However, football will be played from July 24 to August 9. So there will be 10 days between the Copa America final and the start of football in Paris in 2024.

If Argentina reach the finals of the tournament in the United States, adding commitments with Inter Miami, they will appear to be a very short bridge in which Messi will have to balance his busy schedule.

Another detail, not minor, is that in these Paris 2024 games, football will not be played only in the City of Light. There will be 6 more cities: Saint-Etienne, Nantes, Nice, Bordeaux, Lyon and Marseille.

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This detail of airports, hotels and extra kilometers are not elements to be underestimated.

Quarter Final: August 2nd and 3rd

Semi Final: August 5 and 6

Third place: August 8

Final: August 9

Should Argentina progress to the finals of the Olympic Games, Messi will have played six more games if he decides to confirm his presence.

Concachampions

It is the most important tournament at club level organized by CONCACAF. At the initial stage, 27 teams participated, although now 16 are in the competition: one of them is Inter Miami.

Messi's side qualified for the Round of 16 by becoming champions of the 2023 League Cup.

Round 16:

On Thursday, March 7, Inter Miami will visit Nashville SC or Moga FC. The rematch will be held in Miami on Wednesday the 13th.

Quarter Final:

Between Tuesday 2nd April and Thursday 4th April (one way). Between Tuesday 9th and Thursday 11th (Replays).

Semi Final:

Between Tuesday the 23rd and Thursday the 25th.

Between Tuesday, April 30 and Thursday, May 2 (rematches).

Final:

That will be Sunday, June 2.

That means Inter Miami can add seven more games to its match load.

League Cup

The tournament will be held from July 26 to August 25. Los Herons will be defending their crown in 2023.

Inter Miami will face two very cautious rivals from Liga MX, Tigres and Puebla. We'll have to see what the Florida franchise decides on which team to field given the busy schedule and especially its captain and mascot.

Starting from the round of 32 (total 32 teams), the tournament will be played by direct elimination in a tournament with a total of 77 matches.

The tournament starts on July 26. Football in the Paris Olympics on the 24th of the same month. Another of the dilemmas ahead for Messi.

“To be or not to be”, and in what duties, that is the question

Inter Miami has played six games in 2024. Messi played 45 minutes against El Salvador. He played 63 minutes against Dallas FC. Against Al-Hilal he played until the 42nd minute of the second half. Against Al-Nasr he only featured for a few minutes towards the end of the match. He did not play in the match against Hong Kong and came on in the 15th minute of the second half against Vishal Gobi.

This guide is an immediate and important precedent that will help Messi and his team gauge the steps to follow.

Inter Miami have 34 matches ahead in the MSL, some of which they will miss as they compete in the Copa America. The scene then overlooks a highway with heavy traffic.

Cauldron, seen in Olympic games and fire, is attractive to every athlete. Messi is no exception. The decision to say “now” in the City of Light is, at this point, completely unenlightened.

Wilmot Chandler

"Explorer. Web specialist. Beer practitioner. Alcoholaholic. Social media geek. Introvert. Food lover. Future teen idol."

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