Enzo Fernandez Confirms He Will Not Play in 2024 Olympics

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Chelsea star and 2022 World Cup winner, Enzo Fernandez, will not play in the 2024 Olympics in France. The mini-international football tournament will kick off on July 24, and run till August 9, 2024.

Some top-rated footballers will miss out of the tournament due to decisions by their respective clubs and Enzo Fernandez is one of them.

Initially, the Argentina international was set to partake in the tournament as Chelsea’s former manager Mauricio Pochettino had given him the nod. However, after the club switched hands in the dugout, bringing on board Italian tactician, Enzo Maresca, the order was changed.

Enzo Fernandez 2024 Olympics

Speaking with TyCsport, the former Benfica midfielder confirmed it’s the change of order that has frozen him out of the tournament. According to him, Maresca has refused to allow Chelsea players to take part in the tournament – a decision that has been backed by the club’s hierarchy.

“I did everything possible to be there, Pochettino had given me the ok… there was a change of coach and the club changed its position”.

“I did everything possible to be there, I apologize to Mascherano”, he told TyCSport, as shared by Fabrizio Romano.

This means the Argentina squad will miss the services of the highly-rated midfielder in the tournament. The Albiceleste are in Group B alongside Morocco, Iraq, and Ukraine.

2024 Olympics: All You Have to Know

The Olympic Football Tournament 2024 will kick off from July 24 to August 9. The tournament will be contested by 16 teams, divided into 4 groups as follows;

Group A: France, USA, Guinea, New Zealand
Group B: Argentina, Morocco, Iraq, Ukraine
Group C: Uzbekistan, Spain, Egypt, Dominican Republic
Group D: Japan, Paraguay, Mali, Israel

It will take after the normal FIFA format for football tournaments. The top two teams in each group will qualify for the knockout. Thereafter, there will be a quarterfinal, semifinal, third-place playoff, and then final. The tournament will be hosted in France.

Top footballers set to miss out on 2024 Olympics

Enzo Fernandez is not the only top-rated footballer who will be missing the tournament. All Real Madrid’s players currently playing in Euro 2024 and 2024 Copa America will miss the Olympics. The club had issued a directive, barring all their players who are playing in Euro 2024 and Copa America from partaking in the Olympics. Kylian Mbappe, Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, and Eduard Mendy will all miss out of the tournament.

Other top names who could miss out of the tournament are Ibrahima Konate and Mohamed Salah of Liverpool, including William Saliba of Arsenal. However, the respective positions of their clubs on the availability of these high-profile players are yet to be ascertained. Meanwhile, reports claim Liverpool are ready to allow some players to take part in the tournament but not key first-team players like Salah and Konate.

Will Lionel Messi play in the 2024 Olympics?

The Olympic football tournament is meant for players from 23 years and below. However, there are provisions for three overaged players to be named in each squad. It is a surety that Lionel Messi, who is 37, would make the three overaged players in the Argentina squad but he will not play in the tournament.

In an interview with ESPN, the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner revealed he has spoken with Argentina U23 head coach Javier Mascherano, confirming his resolve not to take part in the competition. According to him, it will not be possible for him to play again in the Olympics just a few weeks after taking part in the ongoing Copa America.

“I talked to (coach Javier) Mascherano and the truth is we both understood the situation,” Messi told ESPN

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