Argentina coach Gerardo Martino has reiterated that Barcelona ace Lionel Messi is unlikely to feature at the Olympics in Rio.
The 28-year-old guided his country to gold in Beijing in 2008 and suggested last year that he would be open to competing in Brazil.
However, Martino has made it clear that he has no intention of risking Messi’s health after what promises to be an intense season with Barca.
“Messi won’t go to the Olympic Games because there are a lot of competitions for the national team this year,” Martino told Radio La Red.
“We have the Copa America, the Olympics and after that a number of World Cup qualifiers.
“I want to win the Olympics very much, but not at any price, nor for throwing the players on to the pitch for them to die there.
“The reality at Barcelona shows the season will be long.”
Messi scored twice in five appearances at the 2008 Olympics. Argentina failed to qualify for the 2012 Games in London.
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