16 July 2008
Will he or won't he. The Olympics is Becoming a Messi Affair
*rimshot* and groan. I know the pun is awful - but I couldn't resist. The Olympic tournament is causing considerable consternation for many clubs who want their talented young stars fit and healthy, and focused on club competition this August.
Among those stars in the throws of a Country vs. Club battle is Argentinian Lionel Messi. Argentina are confident that Lionel Messi will take part at the Beijing Olympic Games despite the reported opposition from his club, Barcelona.
Argentina's Olympic team coach, Sergio Batista, believes that the rulebook is on his side; however, Barcelona are reluctant to let their star player go.
FIFA reiterated just last week that clubs are obliged to release under-23 players for the Aug. 7-23 Olympic soccer tournament, so this saga has yet to be played out. Most of these young players will want nothing more than to wear their nation's colours should duty call.