Lionel Messi cancels flight to Turkey after military group's attempted takeover

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Football News

After the horrific scenes that took place on Thursday night in Nice, the last thing Europe needed was more chaos and frightening images to dominate the headlines.

But unfortunately, that is exactly what happened in Turkey last night as the military attempted to seize control of the country.

An unknown army group strategically placed soldiers throughout Istanbul while there were also reports of gunfire being heard and military jets flying low over the Turkish capital of Ankara.

Inevitably, the fragile situation has had a dramatic effect on some big public events taking place in the country and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is among those who have had to change their plans.

Messi was due to fly out to Turkey today to feature in Samuel Eto'o's benefit match in Antalya but according to the Mirror, has now cancelled his flight as a result of last night's events.

Eto'o had managed to convince a host of impressive players from the past and present to feature, including: Neymar, Luis Suarez, Diego Maradona, Eden Hazard, Francesco Totti, Michael Essien, Xavi, Jay Jay Okocha, Andres Iniesta, Didier Drogba and Arda Turan but understandably the match has now been abandoned.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan was also expected to take part in the fixture, with all of the profits raised set to be donated to the Samuel Eto'o foundation which aims to increase awareness of Africa's most pressing social, educational and medical issues.

Messi will now stay in Ibiza where he is currently relaxing after losing another final at a major international tournament.

His Argentina side were beaten by Chile in the Copa America final for the second time in as many years - prompting Messi to surprisingly retire from international duty.

The 29-year-old's turbulent summer didn't stop there. Just a few weeks ago, the current Balon d'Or holder was given a 21-month jail sentence for tax evasion but remains unlikely to serve any time in prison.

Therefore, it's completely reasonable for Messi to take some time away ahead of the new season. Barcelona face Real Betis in their opening game of the domestic campaign as Luis Enrique's team aim to win their third consecutive La Liga title.

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