Michail Antonio left gutted after Leon Bailey got hold of Lionel Messi's shirt
Michail Antonio has told The Footballer’s Football Podcast that he was left gutted while away on international duty after Aston Villa star Leon Bailey managed to get hold of Lionel Messi’s shirt before him.
Antonio’s Jamaica side were beaten 3-0 by Argentina during the most recent break. Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez broke the deadlock during the early stages of the friendly.
It was Messi who secured the win late on. The Paris Saint-Germain forward scored twice in four minutes for the Copa America champions to whet the appetite ahead of the World Cup.
Antonio gutted after missing out on Lionel Messi shirt to Leon Bailey
Of course, for many of the Jamaica players, coming up against Messi while representing their country may have been a real highlight of their international careers. And with that, it is no surprise to hear that there was a race on to get his shirt at full-time.
Antonio noted that he rarely looks to swap shirts. But he was ready to make an exception for the Argentinian magician. Unfortunately, Bailey was able to use his contacts at Aston Villa to beat him to it.
“Four or five other players were hovering around. I even think I saw someone ask for his shirt while on the pitch. It was just one of those things where I was just like: ‘you know what, I’m not going to get it. I’ll leave it for another time if there is another time’,” he told The Footballer’s Football Podcast.
I’m not going to lie, I am gutted. Leon Bailey got the shirt in the end. When that shirt got brought in, I was gutted. Because I even went to [Emi] Martinez and said: ‘get Messi’s shirt, please’. He was like: ‘I’ll speak to him, see what I can do’. But obviously Martinez got it for his teammate Leon Bailey.”
Unfortunately for Jamaica, qualification for the World Cup proved to be beyond them. In fact, they finished 14 points adrift of securing a play-off spot after only winning two of their 14 qualifiers.
Antonio may have his sights set on the next tournament. He will be 36 by that stage. However, he also started his career at the highest level later than many and continues to make a big impact. So it would probably be no surprise if he was still keen to try and help the Reggae Boyz reach their first World Cup since 1998.
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