Fans were eagerly waiting for Messi’s arrival, but He did not come. Angry fans in Hong Kong booed Messi and club co-owner David Beckham after the Argentine genius failed to take the field, for a sold-out friendly.
Lionel Messi gives an update about his leg injury, he said it was “getting better” but the World Cup-winning captain could not guarantee he would be fit to play in Inter Miami’s pre-season friendly in Japan this week.
Lionel Messi about to play in Wednesday’s friendly
Messi is about to play in Tokyo with Inter Miami facing Japanese club Vissel Kobe. Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain sat on the bench for the entire match. Thousands of fans demanded refunds.
Eight-times Ballon d’or winner, Lionel Messi who has rarely spoken to the media, sat alone on a stool on stage, wore a pink warm-up jacket and showed a bit of humility. He was surely under pressure from local Japanese sponsors, including Vissel Kobe, where his former Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta left last year.
“The truth is that I feel very good compared to a few days ago,” Messi said, speaking in Spanish. “And depending on how that goes. And if I’m honest, I still don’t know if I will be able to or not. But I feel much better and I really want to be able to do it.”
Hong Kong fans, said he couldn’t play with a groin injury, and Messi tried to explain the situation to them.
“The truth is that it was bad luck that I couldn’t [play] on the day of the Hong Kong match,” Messi said, adding that the “discomfort continued and it was very difficult for me to play.” “Unfortunately, in football, things can happen in any game, that we may have an injury,” he added. “It’s a shame because I always want to participate, I want to be there, and even more so when it comes to these games when we travel so far and people are so excited to see our matches.” he further added.
“While it is likely true that the pricing and the interest was in large part due to Messi’s participation, his failure to play does not generally constitute a breach of contract.” Mark Conrad, who teaches law, ethics and sports business at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, reminded fans that a ticket is for a game and does not guarantee a player’s participation.
Messi said he hoped to visit Hong Kong again and play this time.