Coach says Lionel Messi will skip Rio de Janeiro Olympics
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) Lionel Messi will skip the Rio de Janeiro Olympics because his coach Gerardo Martino says he needs some rest.
Martino spoke Monday on Argentina radio station La Red and says ''Messi will not go to the Olympic Games.'' However, he said the Barcelona star would play in the Centennial Copa America, which begins June 3. The Olympics starts two months later on Aug. 5.
Martino said it was ''too much'' for the Barcelona star to play both events, and to also focus on World Cup qualifying matches.
Messi is 28 and could have been picked to the Olympic team was one of three over-23 age players. He led Argentina to the gold medal in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics.