On Saturday afternoon, Takumi Minamino (29) was in Doha, featuring in an Asian Cup quarter-final tie against Iran. Following Japan’s elimination from the competition at the Education City Stadium (1-2), the former Liverpool forward rushed back to the Principality in time to face Le Havre AC at the Stade Louis II on Sunday.
Less than 24 hours had elapsed and Minamino was competing in another competitive match on another continent. The Japanese forward came off the bench in the 67th minute against Iran, and against Le Havre, he came on in the 71st minute of Les Monégasques’ 1-1 draw, replacing Maghnes Akliouche.
Minamino travelled 4500km to return to Monaco in time to face Luka Elsner’s side. In a press conference, attended by Get French Football News, manager Adi Hütter revealed the details of Minamino’s selection.
“When you saw the substitutes bench today, there were lots of young players, and no attacking players bar Krépin Diatta. We also had Lucas Michal, a young player and I am happy with him. Minamino said he wanted to be in the squad, so he was there. He arrived this morning. Really late (laughs),” said the Austrian manager.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle