Just as Lionel Messi broke hearts in Barcelona after the superstar decided against a return to the Spanish champions in favor of a move to Inter Miami, here in Indonesia fans are also bracing the very real possibility that he will not feature in the highly-anticipated friendly match between Argentina and Indonesia.

The rumors started when Argentine sports publication Vermouth Deportivo reported that Messi would only play in the world champions’ first match in their Asina tour against Australia in Beijing on June 15, and would not travel to Jakarta for the second match on June 19.

Messi has reportedly earned a break from the national team ahead of his move to Miami.

In addition, Argentina is also reportedly going to field their first team players for the match against Australia, while second-string players will feature more prominently against Indonesia.

However, Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) executive committee member Ahmad Riyadh said that there was no official confirmation from the Argentine Football Association (AFA) about Messi’s absence.

“To this day, PSSI has not received communication about Messi’s absence – 100 percent [no communication],” Riyadh said yesterday evening.

“Everything is on schedule. As of today, Messi is scheduled to be present [in the match against Indonesia].”

Seven-time Ballon D’Or winner Messi, widely considered to be the GOAT in world football, is undoubtedly the main draw for thousands of fans in Indonesia who paid up to IDR4.25 million (US$284) to score tickets to the Indonesia vs Argentina friendly match on June 19 at the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Stadium in Jakarta.


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June 6, 2023

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