News just out that the Court of Arbitration for Sport has ruled in favour of Barcelona and decided they will not have to release Argentine forward Lionel Messi for the Olympics.
Assuming Barcelona do not have a change of heart, it means one of the biggest name athletes at the Games will not be taking part. Brazilians Diego and Rafinha, of Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 respectively, will now also presumably be going home.
The presence of Messi has helped raise the profile of soccer at the Olympics enormously. His departure will be a big blow to Argentina, and to all those hoping hoping to catch a glimpse of the man.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said recently that Barcelona and other clubs should let their players stay and compete in the Games even if CAS were to rule in their favour. Let's see what Barcelona say. Manager Pep Guardiaola has said that the main thing is to for Messi be happy, so one hopes Messi gets to take part.
Even though my club needs him, for me a chance to play for your nation in the Olympics is unique and one that players no matter the skill or wage should fight for.
I'll have more on this later.
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