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Barca´s Messi stays in Scotland ahead of FIFA decision

SoccerNews in La Liga 22 Jul 2008

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Lionel Messi, who has been called on to represent his native Argentina at the Olympics, remained at a Barcelona pre-season training camp in Scotland on Tuesday with the approval of Argentina's Football Federation, a Barcelona spokesman said.

The 21-year-old winger will stay in Saint Andrews while he waits for world football governing body FIFA to decide whether or not Barcelona are obligated to let him take part in the Games in China next month, the spokesman told AFP.

Messi has repeatedly expressed his desire to help Argentina defend their Olympic title but the Catalan club has been reluctant to let him go as he is needed for early Champions League matches.

Spanish media reported Tuesday that a compromise may be in the works which would see the playmaker take part in one Champions League match and then joining the Argentine squad in Beijing.

The Olympic tournament begins on August 6 with the final on August 23, but the first leg of the third Champions League preliminary round is scheduled for August 12-13.

Barcelona's pre-season training camp in Scotland, will last until July 26. The team will face Scottish Premier League side Hibs in a friendly on July 24 and Dundee United two days later.

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