Liverpool pay price of penny-pinching
Liverpool were unable to fly Javier Mascherano and Emiliano Insua back from Argentina in time to face Sunderland because, unlike Barcelona and Manchester City, the club was unwilling to pay for a private plane.
Instead, following Argentina's 1-0 victory over Uruguay that secured their place in the World Cup, both players took scheduled flights from South America via Paris. They arrived at the Liverpool team hotel near Sunderland but their manager, Rafael Benitez, judged that they were not ready to play at the Stadium of Light.
“They came straight to Sunderland from Paris so it was impossible for them to play,” Benitez explained. “I don't know the exact arrangements but normally the (Argentine) federation arrange and pay for the flights.”
Barcelona hired a private airliner at the cost of £90,000 to bring Lionel Messi back to Spain in time to face Valencia.
Carlos Tevez was also flown back by private plane.