Emi Martinez refused Argentina wish as Aston Villa decision confirmed

Emi Martinez wanted to play for Argentina at the Paris Olympics
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Emi Martinez has not been named in Argentina's men's Olympic football squad for the Paris Games after Aston Villa blocked his participation.

Last month, Martinez claimed he was willing to "fight" the club's stance as he wanted to compete for a gold medal with his nation. However, as the Olympic Football Tournament is not ratified or formally recognised by FIFA, clubs have the power to prevent the release of their players for the competition.

Teams are restricted to under-23 players (born on or after 1 January 2001) with a maximum of three more permitted above that age and Argentina manager Javier Mascherano wanted to name Martinez alongside Nicolas Otamendi and Julian Alvarez to fill those positions.

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Instead, he has included Ajax goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli, with Martinez left out of the official 18-man squad. The Olympic Football Tournament is due to run from July 24 to August 9, meaning players who represent their nation would miss pre-season.

Martinez is currently away in the USA representing Argentina at the Copa America as La Albiceleste aim to retain their crown. Last month, when asked if he would be going to the Olympics after the Copa America, Martinez told Tyc: "The club has blocked me from going lots of times before but I want to play Copa America first.

"I know that I have to fight a little bit more with the club, it’s not 100 per cent done, but from my part it is a wish that I have, that I want to win the Olympics. It’s not obligatory for the club to let a player leave to play in the Olympics, I know that my club has not let any player go, they blocked everyone."

It is understood that Villa had also blocked France from naming Lucas Digne and Moussa Diaby in their squad for the competition.

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