Lionel Messi ‘has the doors open’ to PLAY for Argentina at the Paris 2024 Olympics, reveals Javier Mascherano – as Under 23 boss says it will ‘depend on him and his commitments

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  • Lionel Messi has been invited to be part of Argentina’s Olympic Games squad
  • The 36-year-old is eligible to join the team for the upcoming tournament
  • Will Harry Kane regret joining Bayern Munich? The Bundesliga champions looked broken in Leverkusen – Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off podcast 

Javier Mascherano has paved the way for Lionel Messi to represent Argentina in this year’s Olympics football event following the nation’s qualification for the competition.

Argentina Under-23s head coach Mascherano was celebrating the team’s qualification for the Olympics taking place in Paris this year when he invited Messi to join his squad.

The pair share a close relationship having played together for both Barcelona and the Argentina senior side throughout their respective playing careers.

They could now link-up again if Messi chooses to take his former team-mate up on his offer to be a part of Argentina’s Olympic squad that beat reigning gold medallists Brazil 1-0 to qualify.

‘Everyone already knows my relationship with Leo [Messi], the friendship I have,’ Mascherano said.

Lionel Messi has an invite to play for Argentina at this year’s Olympic Games in Paris

Argentina's Under-23s head coach Javier Mascherano wants Messi to an accept an offer to be in his team

Argentina’s Under-23s head coach Javier Mascherano wants Messi to an accept an offer to be in his team

‘A player like him has the doors open to accompany us [at the Olympics], then it will obviously depend on him and his commitments.’

Eight-time Ballon d’Or winner, Messi, is yet to reveal whether he will join up with the nation’s youngsters for the summer competition, but did post on social media following Sunday’s victory over Brazil.

The 36-year-old shared an image of Mascherano’s youth squad celebrating their Olympic qualification with the caption: ‘VAMOS!!!’.

Messi’s expansive trophy cabinet already boasts an Olympic gold medal after he guided the nation to glory in the 2008 edition of the Games in Beijing at just 21-years-old.

Argentina qualified for the upcoming Olympics after beating Brazil on Sunday

Argentina qualified for the upcoming Olympics after beating Brazil on Sunday

Messi is already an Olympic gold medallist after winning alongside Sergio Aguero (right) in 2008

Messi is already an Olympic gold medallist after winning alongside Sergio Aguero (right) in 2008

After beating Nigeria in the final that year, Messi labelled winning a gold medal as one of his most cherished prizes before winning the World Cup with Argentina in 2022.

Argentina U23 midfielder who has played against Messi in the MLS also expressed his desire to have the experienced creative star join the squad at the Olympics.

‘I hope he has the desire, that he can be there,’ Atlanta United’s Almada said.

‘We have to see how he is at that time, it would be a dream that he would be able to play.’