With two major soccer tournaments in the Western hemisphere happening this Summer, it’s possible that some of the world’s biggest names could miss out on the 2016 Copa America Centenario being held in the United States. Rest assured that the world’s best player, Lionel Messi, won’t be among the absentees.
Argentina’s national team manager, Gerardo Martino, confirmed on Monday that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will be skipping this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this Summer to focus on the special edition Copa America tournament.
It’s expected that most players will have to choose between the Olympics or the Copa America instead of playing both if their nation chooses to bring them as one of their three overage players. Usually clubs and national teams come to an understanding that it’s unrealistic for a player to compete in both in such a short time frame.
While Messi’s situation has been clarified, his Barcelona teammate Neymar’s choice has not been revealed yet. With his country Brazil hosting the Olympics, pressure could be added for him to compete in that tournament which could rule him out for the Copa America.
The good news is that if you Santa Clara, Chicago, or Seattle you’ll be able to see possibly the greatest player that’s ever played the sport of soccer. As for USMNT supporters hoping to get a glimpse of Messi, a possible knockout round match-up is the only way that’s happening. A dream final of Argentina vs. the USA seems quite a tasty proposition.
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