Messi will be with us: Batista

Updated: 14 August 2008 16:22 IST

Argentina key player Lionel Messi will be with the rest of the team for the whole Olympic soccer tournament, said Sergio Batista, head coach of Argentina.

Shanghai:

Argentina key player Lionel Messi will be with the rest of the team for the whole Olympic soccer tournament, said Sergio Batista, head coach of Argentina men's team.

"Messi wants to be here with us and he is happy with this team. I'm sure he will remain in the team for the whole tournament," Batista told a press conference on Wednesday, adding that Messi was on the starting list of their first match on Thursday.

Batista made the remarks just a couple of minutes after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced its decision that it's not compulsory for Barcelona to release Messi for 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Showing neither angry nor disappointment, the coach said he was peaceful to hear the verdict.

"Of course, all the coaches want Messi in their teams, but if I were in Barcelona's place I would never say no to the player for the national team." Batista said. "I hope the CAS decision will not affect other teams and players."

Warned of possible consequences if Messi ignores CAS rulings, Batista said both Messi and his teammates were relaxed as the Argentina Football Association (AFA) was doing their best to protect Messi.

The confident coach also believed that Messi would keep creating chances by pairing Juan Riquelme in Argentina's first game against Cote d'Ivoire.

"Cote d'Ivoire has good players, and they are physically hard and faster. But we know we will show the best form we have," said Batista.


Topics : Football Lionel Andres Messi
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