Messi: Why I Won't Play Against Nigeria

NFF, players, coaches negotiate Russia 2018 participation terms

Former Nigeria global, Mutiu Adepoju, has stated that the absence of Barcelona star, Lionel Messi from the worldwide friendly between Argentina and Nigeria does not matter.

The South American giants will file out against their West African counterpart in a grade A friendly on Tuesday in Krasnodar, Russia after both sides secured their places for next year's World Cup.

The 30-year-old played in his national team's 1-0 win over Russian Federation on Saturday afternoon, but will miss their next friendly against Nigeria because Jorge Sampaoli wants to rest him.

But Adepoju said the South Americans still parade world class players who can hurt Nigeria.

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"I have the desire to play against Nigeria but (coach Jorge) Sampaoli made a decision to regulate (my game) a little and I won't play in the game against Nigeria", he told Sport. We should expect a fierce and interesting game.

Do you think the Nigeria national team will be happy to see Messi miss the game?

"We don't intend to go into the coming year still pondering over how to handle any issue concerning preparation for or participation at the World Cup".

"We need to analyse all the organisational aspects of Saturday's match and make the necessary corrections to ensure full comfort and security for football fans in the future".

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