Featured Matches
Previous
Brazil
Netherlands
ESPN, ESPN3 8:00 PM GMT
Match 63
Game Details
Germany
Argentina
ABC, ESPN3 Jul 13, 2014 7:00 PM GMT
Match 64
Game Details
Brazil
Netherlands
ESPN, ESPN3 8:00 PM GMT
Match 63
Game Details
AIK
Kalmar FF
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Mjallby
Falkenbergs FF
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Malmo FF
Atvidabergs FF
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sogndal
Viking FK
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Bodo/Glimt
Odd Grenland
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lillestrom
Sarpsborg FK
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sandnes Ulf
IK Start
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
SK Brann
Stromsgodset
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
New York Red Bulls
Columbus
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Philadelphia Union
Colorado
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Toronto FC
Houston
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Montreal Impact
Kansas City
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
New England
Chicago
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Vancouver Whitecaps
Chivas USA
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Los Angeles
Real Salt Lake
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
New York Cosmos
San Antonio Scorpions
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Carolina RailHawks
Indy Eleven
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Minnesota United FC
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Atlanta Silverbacks
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Cristal
San Martin
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport Huancayo
San Simón
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
UTC
Universitario de Deportes
8:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Los Caimanes
Real Garcilaso
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Alianza Lima
César Vallejo
1:10 AM GMT
Game Details
LDU Quito
Barcelona
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
U. Católica
El Nacional
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Manta F.C.
Deportivo Quito
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Western New York Flash
Washington Spirit
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Chicago Red Stars
Seattle Reign FC
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug, 7, 2008

Barca to let Messi stay at Olympic Games

Barcelona will allow Lionel Messi to remain with the Argentina squad for the duration of the Olympic Games.

Messi was selected to represent Argentina at the Games, but after the 21-year-old joined up with the squad in China the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that clubs did not have to release players because the Olympics do not appear on the official FIFA calendar.

This afternoon sporting director Txiki Begiristain and coach Pep Guardiola officially confirmed they would not be recalling Messi after the player expressed his desire to remain at the Games during talks with the club late last night.

'It's the best decision as, although with Leo we're a better side, these are exceptional circumstances,' Guardiola told a press conference held at the Nou Camp on Thursday afternoon.

'He's happy there and is satisfied and there's no need to take this any further.'

Begiristain added: 'We want the player to be happy and his happiness is there for all to see.'

The sporting director also confirmed earlier reports that the Catalan club have allowed their player to stay in China after striking a deal with the Argentina Football Association (AFA).

The AFA will now pay for a large insurance policy which would see the Nou Camp outfit receive a large pay-out should Messi be injured at any point during the Games.

The 21-year-old will also be exempt from certain friendly matches involving Argentina, allowing him to remain in Spain with the Barcelona squad.

The agreement is similar to that which German clubs Werder Bremen and Schalke both demanded of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) after allowing their players Diego and Rafinha to remain at the Games.

'The only special significance this goal has is that it was the first in the Olympic Games for us. I want to forget all the other things that happened,' Messi told Argentinian TV station TyC Sports. 'I was always sure of what I wanted to do. I wanted to be here. The club backed me. I only had to sort out some problems.

'This is what I wanted - to play the Olympic Games. Now I am enjoying both the Games and the team we have.'

Ivory Coast proved tough opposition, however.

'It was harder than we expected,' Messi said. 'They are in a very good physical form and play really well.

'It was our first match, we were a little bit nervous. We want to do things well and we started with a victory. That's very important. I think we will calm down in the second game.'

Argentina's second game is on Sunday against Australia, who drew 1-1 with Serbia in the opening match of Group A.

In Group B, Holland coach Foppe de Haan blamed the conditions as the Dutch were held to a 0-0 draw by Nigeria.

The 65-year-old said: 'It was unimaginable. I think it was even more muggy and damp on the pitch than in the stands.

'Those 50,000 spectators radiate a lot of heat and moisture too, of course, and it looked as if the smog couldn't leave the stadium.

'When you look at these extreme circumstances, I think we did a reasonable job.'

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.