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'Unbelievable' ex-Liverpool star plays two games in less than 24 hours

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TAKUMI MINAMINO quickly put his Asian Cup heartache behind him… by playing for Monaco under 24 hours later.

The former Liverpool star was in action for Japan on Saturday as they took on Iran in Qatar.

Takumi Minamino was in action for Japan on Saturday

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Takumi Minamino was in action for Japan on SaturdayCredit: Alamy
Japan were knocked out by Iran in Qatar

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Japan were knocked out by Iran in QatarCredit: AP
Minamino was named on Monaco's bench under 24 hours later

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Minamino was named on Monaco’s bench under 24 hours laterCredit: TNT Sports
The 29-year-old was brought on with 20 minutes to go

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The 29-year-old was brought on with 20 minutes to goCredit: AFP

He came on in the 68th minute of the match with the score level at 1-1.

Disaster struck for Hajime Moriyasu’s side deep into stoppage time when Ko Itakura conceded a penalty, which was dispatched by former Brighton ace Alireza Jahanbakhsh.

The match had kicked off at 11:30am UK time, with Minamino and Co trudging off defeated shortly after 1:30pm.

Japan had been aiming to win a record fifth Asian Cup.

Rather than dwell on the disappointment, Minamino jetted straight to Monaco – remarkably playing for the Ligue 1 side earlier today.

Kicking off at midday on Sunday, Monaco took on Le Havre at Stade Louis II.

The Principality is around 2,800 miles from Al-Rayyan, Qatar, where Japan had taken on Iran.

A flight from Qatar to Monaco takes around six-and-a-half hours.

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Rather than resting Minamino, boss Adi Hutter named him on the bench.

With the score level at 1-1, Hutter opted to chuck the 29-year-old on in the hunt for a winner.

But he was unable to find the net, with the match ending all square.

Regardless of the results, fans were impressed with the attacking midfielder’s dedication to play in both games.

Accompanied by a salute emoji, one fan wrote on social media: “He did it for his country.”

While a second commented: “That’s crazy.”

A third gushed: “Man’s a machine.”

And another even claimed to have seen him yawning during his warm-up.

Minamino has been in decent form for Les Monegasques this season.

He has scored five goals and laid on a further four assists in 16 Ligue 1 outings.

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