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Lionel Messi Threatened with Bullying at 2024 Olympics: Former Player Speaks Out

CNN Indonesia

Friday, 16 Feb 2024 08:55 WIB

Lionel Messi received threats of bullying if he appeared at the 2024 Olympics. (REUTERS/AGUSTIN MARCARIAN)

Jakarta, CNN Indonesia

Apart from being tempted to strengthen Argentina in Olympic, Lionel Messi also received threats if they appeared at the four-yearly event.

Amid news that Messi received an invitation to become one of the senior players in the Argentina U-23 national team that will appear at the 2024 Olympics, there was also a rejection of the megastar’s presence.

Antipathy towards Messi’s presence was voiced by former French and Paris Saint-Germain national team player Jerome Rothen, who was sometimes hurt by La Pulga’s behavior while playing for PSG.

“We must never forget what he has done. As Parisians and French people, to see him again in an Argentina shirt? If there is a way to deny the fact that he has been making fun of our faces for two years, just mock him to show him that we are very unhappy with the image he gives to PSG, Paris and France,” explained Rothen in an interview with RMC.

Rothen stated that he did not want to embarrass Messi, but his invitation was simply to respond to the former Barcelona player’s behavior while he was at PSG.

“Before, I thought this was a great idea, for the image of the Olympics, it would be fantastic, suddenly Messi comes. I don’t mean to damage his image, for what he has done for football.”

“On the other hand, once you have respect for a player, a person and his career, you shouldn’t have a short memory. And I feel there are some people who already act like that,” said Rothen further.

Rothen was very emotional about Messi because he thought that the Argentina captain did not perform optimally when defending PSG and failed to bring the Les Parisiens squad to success at continental level.

“He has attacked PSG, France and Paris shortly after he left. Staying in Paris would be a disaster, he would not be received as he should be,” said Rothen.

The final decision has not yet been made regarding whether Messi will play in the Olympics, but Argentina U-23 coach Javier Mascherano immediately made an open invitation to his colleague to strengthen the Tango team with young players.

(nva/jun)

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