Japan hold Argentina to ransom over Messi

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JFA want Lionel to turn out for friendly… or else


Last month Lionel Messi bore a good chunk of the criticism aimed at Barcelona’s disastrous pre-season tour of South Korea, in which the country paid £2m to put on a friendly only for Barca to field mostly reserves and a disinterested Messi (“I don’t know where I am and what time it is. I’m too tired.) spend 15 minutes on the pitch.

It appears neighbours Japan have got wind of the debacle and are now adamant they won’t shell out for their international friendly against Argentina on October 8th unless the man currently recognised as the best player in the world shows up.

This morning president of the Japan Football Association Junji Ogura told Argentina they can forget their fixture bonus if they don’t bring Messi along:

If he does not come, we will pay less than $200,000. Messi has 200,000 reasons to play.

And that pretty much sums up why we won’t be seeing the back of pointless international friendlies any time soon.

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