Kerala Scores Big: Lionel Messi Confirmed for Argentina’s Visit in 2025 Football Friendlies
In a thrilling development for football enthusiasts in Kerala, the Argentine national football team has expressed eagerness to engage in two friendly matches scheduled for October 2025, as revealed by the state’s sports minister, V. Abdurahiman, on Friday. The minister confidently stated that football icon Lionel Messi would be part of the visiting squad, even at the age of 38 during the proposed visit.
The announcement follows a successful online meeting between officials from Kerala and Argentina, with discussions taking place two weeks after the Asociación del Fútbol Argentino (AFA) responded positively to an invitation extended in June of the preceding year. Despite the initial proposal for a game in July, the Kerala government sought a change due to the monsoon season. Abdurahiman explained, “We informed them about the difficulty in hosting (the game) since it would be monsoon here. So they agreed to play in October 2025.”
The minister highlighted that Argentine players and officials were well aware of the immense support their team received from Kerala fans during the Qatar World Cup. During the online meeting, discussions also centered around the potential matchups, and whether the Argentine team would face the Indian national side or other international teams would be determined later. Abdurahiman shared that the AFA expressed interest in actively contributing to the development of football in Kerala and exploring collaborations with the Kerala government’s Goal football training project to train 5,000 young footballers.
The Left Democratic Front government played a pivotal role in securing this opportunity after the All India Football Federation initially turned down the AFA’s offer in June 2023. Abdurahiman expressed optimism about the upcoming friendlies, stating, “Although organizing these friendlies will be a big task, it will be the best gift to the football lovers of Kerala and the biggest motivation for our players.” The meeting also highlighted Argentina’s commitment to supporting football development in Kerala, showcasing the potential for a fruitful collaboration between the two football-loving regions.