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Lionel Messi’s unwillingness to return to his national team could reportedly cost Argentina £385,000, according to the reports in his native country, cited by Daily Mirror.

According to Spanish publication, Tribuna, Morocco are set to pay the Albiceleste £850,000 for the friendly game in Rabat on March 26, however, the Barcelona No.10 would be obliged to feature. 

Otherwise, Argentina would receive only £465,000. However, Messi is still unlikely to rejoin Argentina for the break in March. He has put a pause on his international career following the unfortunate World Cup campaign in the summer of 2018.

Albiceleste won only one game out of total four and were sensationally eliminated in the first knock-out round by eventual winners France. The only game won was the 2-1 defeat of Nigeria in Saint Petersburg.

In fact, Messi was expected to make his long-anticipated Argentina return during the upcoming international break. Venezuela and Argentina will play a friendly game in Spain and the Blaugrana No.10 has been linked with the national team come-back as he won’t be forced to travel overseas. The Venezuela friendly will take place on March 22 at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid.


Argentina interim coach Lionel Scaloni hasn’t yet named the squad for the friendlies in March. The boss hasn’t confirmed Messi’s potential return date either.

In any case, there are rumours that the Barcelona No.10 wants to focus on his club career until the start of the Copa America championship which takes place this summer in Brazil.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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