Messi Targets Tokyo Game After Missing Inter Miami’s HK Match

Lionel Messi disappointed many fans in Hong Kong by not appearing in a match over the weekend, but he hinted at the possibility of participating in Inter Miami’s upcoming friendly in Tokyo, stating he felt “much better” than he did a few days ago.

The decision not to play Messi in the eagerly awaited game at the packed Hong Kong Stadium has become a major issue for his team in Major League Soccer and the event’s organizers in Hong Kong.

Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham was booed and angry fans chanted for a refund after Lionel Messi did not partake in a pre-season friendly.

Messi, addressing the media for the first time since he and David Beckham were booed off the field, expressed his regret over not being able to play, mentioning an issue with his adductor muscle that caused swelling.

“In Hong Kong, we had an open-door training session, and I went out because there was such a big crowd there and a clinic with the kids. I wanted to be there and participate”, the 36-year-old told a press conference at a Tokyo hotel.

“But the truth is the discomfort was still there, and it was very difficult for me to play”.

“I can understand that people were looking forward to it, and I hope that there will be another opportunity for me to play in Hong Kong”.

As the captain of Inter Miami, who secured a World Cup victory for Argentina in 2022, Messi was non-committal about his participation in the friendly match against J-League champions Vissel Kobe, citing the need to assess his condition after the day’s training.

At a press conference in Tokyo, Messi, in the absence of Beckham, coach Tata Martino, and teammates Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Luis Suarez due to last-minute cancellations, spoke about his current health status and desire to play.

“For tomorrow, I don’t know; we’ll need to see how it goes in training today”, he added. “We still don’t know if I will be able to play or not, but I feel much better than I did a few days ago and really want to be able to play”.

Messi was the sole speaker at the press conference following the last-minute cancellations of scheduled appearances by Beckham, coach Tata Martino, and teammates Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Luis Suarez.

In contrast to the situation in Hong Kong, tickets for the Tokyo game remained available shortly before the event, despite having been on sale since late December.