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Aston Villa 'block' player from representing country at Olympics

Tension ahead? Villa 'block' player from representing country at Olympics
© Reuters
Aston Villa reportedly take the decision to block one of their key players from participating at the Olympic Games in Paris.

Aston Villa have reportedly decided to prevent one of their key players from representing their country at the Olympics.

Many clubs from around the world have had to cope with their squad members going away with their countries for significant parts of 2024.

The Africa Cup of Nations took place in January, while Euro 2024 and the Copa America are currently being held in Germany and the USA respectively.

Ideally, teams will want their players to rest and recuperate ahead of the start or continuation of their domestic campaigns, but the Olympics in Paris brings the prospect of more disruption.

However, unlike with the other tournaments that are FIFA regulated, the Olympics are not, meaning clubs have the power to stop their players from participating in that competition.

Young Player of the Tournament Enzo Fernandez, Golden Ball winner Lionel Messi and Golden Glove winner Emiliano Martinez pose with their trophies on December 18, 2022© Reuters

Argentina handed latest blow

Earlier this week, Chelsea midfielder Enzo Fernandez spoke of his disappointment over being blocked from representing Argentina.

The Blues powers-that-be are said to want the big-money signing to play a major part of pre-season ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

According to TyC Sports, Villa are taking the same stance with goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Unai Emery reportedly wants the World Cup winner around for pre-season, despite the fact that Villa are well stocked for goalkeepers in the short term.

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery before the match on March 2, 2024© Reuters

Could a problem arise for Emery?

While Villa will expect Martinez to remain professional, that may be easier said than done for the 31-year-old, who has been outspoken in the past.

Martinez, who has 40 caps to his name, has said on more than one occasion that he would like to feature at the tournament.

Although Argentina boss Javier Mascherano has alternatives at his disposal, the intention was allegedly for Martinez to be one of three players aged over 23.

A balance will have to be found by Martinez, who will not want to put game time in the Premier League and Champions League at risk.

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Chelsea celebrate scoring a goal against Aston Villa in February 2024.
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