(WFI) Even Lionel Messi needs some time off every now and then. The five-time and reigning Ballon d’Or winner will be skipping the Rio Olympics this summer for some much needed rest.

Lionel Messi skipping Rio 2016 (Getty)

Messi will be plenty busy even without the Olympics.

His Barcelona club side is one of the favorites in the Champions League and could well be playing in the final on May 28. If so, Messi would have no time for relaxation before leading Argentina in the Centennial Copa America, which is scheduled to begin on Jun. 3.

The Olympics begin on Aug. 5 and Messi’s national team coach Gerardo Martin says playing in both events while also participating in World Cup qualifiers throughout the year would be too much. Martin made the comments on the radio in Argentina on Monday.

Messi, who led Argentina to Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008, is 28 but would have been eligible as one of three over-23 players allowed under Olympic rules.


By INSIDER Gerard Farek

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