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The prodigal sons back, Di Maria and Messi could add another Olympic Games

By William Estrella


The prodigal sons back, Di Maria and Messi could add another Olympic Games

After Argentina's qualification for Paris, Mascherano is forced to invite two active legends.

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"I, as a coach, have the obligation to invite them." With that emphatic phrase, the Argentina U-23 coach, Javier Mascherano, opened the door to a dream that millions of fans began to amass this Sunday, when his team obtained a ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. That the integrated list by the world champion in Qatar 2022 Thiago Almada, Federico Redondo, Valentín Barco and Claudio 'Diablito' Echeverri, among others, being able to swell for the Olympic event with two men of the stature of Lionel Messi and Ángel di María is something that, more Beyond fueling the fantasy of Albiceleste fans, it excites any follower of good football.

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"Obviously we are going to talk. Everyone knows my relationship with Leo and Ángel: we are friends, we have a spectacular relationship. I, as a coach, have the obligation to invite them; but one also understands that they have other commitments and it will also depend on that. No "It's so simple," declared the 'Jefecito' to the microphones of TyC Sports as soon as the Pre-Olympic Championships held in Venezuela concluded. Their 1-0 victory over Brazil not only gave the Albiceleste qualification, but also buried the 'Verdeamarelha' chances and made it easier for Paraguay to win the tournament title, which will also travel to Paris.

Messi's public congratulations on his Instagram account only fueled the desire of Argentine fans, who, since December 18, 2022, when their idol gave them the third world title, have broken down and dissected any word he says or writes. , and flooded social networks with the request that the 'Flea' attend Paris 2024. Already last January, in full preparation for the South American Olympic Qualifiers that concluded this Sunday, Mascherano had declared that Messi and Di María "earned the possibility to choose" and that, if they wanted to attend the Olympic event, "they can do it.

Aware that the Copa América, which takes place from June 20 to July 14 and in which Argentina defends the title achieved in 2022, will be - as he announced at the time - the farewell of the 'Fideo' team, the 'Jefecito' already expressed at that time that "it would also be a nice closing to the Games", which will take place from July 26 to August 11. In addition to the innumerable titles he has accumulated as a former player in clubs such as River Plate, Corinthians and, above all, Barcelona, Mascherano has a curious achievement in his record: he is the only Argentine footballer to have two Olympic gold medals, the ones the Albiceleste won in Athens 2004 (on Paraguay) and in Beijing 2008 (on Nigeria).

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Difficult challenge

Nobody knows if his complicated schedule will allow them to attend other Olympic Games and, even less, reach Mascherano in the glory of winning his second gold. But if the Argentines know anything, it is to keep the flame of the dream alive and, for that reason, no one takes away their hope of seeing Messi and Di María in Paris 2024.


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