Israel to host Argentina for soccer friendly before June World Cup
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Israel to host Argentina for soccer friendly before June World Cup

Israel to pay $3 million to bring in the two time world cup winning team, but cost could be cut in half if star player Lionel Messi doesn't play

Argentina's Lionel Messi (L) vies for the ball with Bolivia's Fernando Saucedo during their Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup South American Qualifiers' football match in Cordoba, Argentina, on March 29, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / EITAN ABRAMOVICH / AFP / EITAN ABRAMOVICH)
Argentina's Lionel Messi (L) vies for the ball with Bolivia's Fernando Saucedo during their Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup South American Qualifiers' football match in Cordoba, Argentina, on March 29, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / EITAN ABRAMOVICH / AFP / EITAN ABRAMOVICH)

Israel will host Argentina for a friendly match on June 9, days before the start of the World Cup in Russia, Israel’s football federation said on Thursday.

Israel’s federation has agreed to pay $3 million to host the match with the two-time World Cup winners (1978 and 1986) who were also finalists in 2014, Israeli media reported.

The amount could be reduced by half if star Lionel Messi does not play out of fear of being injured before the World Cup, the reports said.

The location of the match has not yet been announced, with details of the contract still being worked out, the federation said.

Israel did not qualify for the World Cup.

Argentina will play their first World Cup match on June 16 against Iceland, before also facing Croatia and Nigeria in Group D.

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