Messi reportedly set to skip Singapore friendly

Reports are emerging that Lionel Messi is unlikely to appear in Singapore to take on the Lions at the National Stadium next week alongside his Argentina teammates.

Messi, who is currently in Melbourne preparing for Argentina’s friendly clash with Brazil on Friday night, has been used as a promotional tool in the lead-up to the match, along with compatriots like Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero.

But reports surfaced on Thursday from a number of Spanish news outlets that the superstar will be released from the squad to return to Barcelona following the Brazil match to finalise preparations for his wedding, which is apparently scheduled for the end of this month.

Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi could be in a similar position, also set to miss the clash in Singapore due to his own June wedding.

It will be a significant blow for organisers if it is confirmed that Messi, who vies with Cristiano Ronaldo for the title as the world’s best and most recognised footballer, won’t be heading to Singapore.

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and match promoter UNICESS released a joint statement regarding the situation, saying they were seeking clarification on Messi's possible no-show and will provide an update as soon as possible.

"The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and match promoter UNICESS are aware of the recent media stories around Lionel Messi and Nicolas Otamendi’s appearance in the Singapore Vs Argentina football match on Tuesday, 13 June at the Singapore Sports Hub," the statement read.

"We are currently working with the AFA to determine the authenticity of the claims made in these reports and will provide an update as soon as we are able. Meanwhile, we are looking forward to welcoming the Argentinian national team to Singapore for this historical match against the Lions as we celebrate FAS' 125th anniversary."

Promotional material on the Sportshub website