Messi won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games with Argentina, but has been omitted from the Oympic squad for Brazil due to the Copa America tournament that kicks off on June 3 in the US.

He will sit out the Olympics after holding discussions with national coach Gerardo Martino.

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“I would have liked to go because it was a spectacular experience for me to play in the Olympics” said the five-times Ballon d'Or winner.

“Not just because we won, but for the experience I gained.

“It was a great experience to stay in the Olympic Village and meet other elite athletes from other sports and to be just another athlete among them; that was very spectacular even though we didn’t spend a lot of time in the village.

Messi celebrates winning gold in Beijing.

Image credit: Imago

“The World Cup is great but the Olympics are something special.”

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