Lionel Messi has revealed “the truth” about missing Inter Miami’s friendly in Hong Hong and delivered an injury update ahead of facing Vissel Kobe.

Messi Reveals The Truth About Hong Kong Friendly Absence
Lionel Messi

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner sparked a fierce backlash from disgruntled supporters in Asia when sitting out an exhibition game against a Hong Kong Select XI on Sunday.


Angry fans took to booing the Argentine icon after seeing him remain rooted to the bench – while also jeering Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham – and the all-time great has now moved on to Japan ahead of another pre-season fixture on Wednesday.

Messi has been nursing a knock, but told reporters when asked about his possible involvement against Vissel Kobe: “The truth is that I feel very good compared to a few days ago.

“And depending on how that (training) goes.

“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.”

Unfortunate Circumstance

Messi went on to say of the unfortunate circumstances that forced him to disappoint followers in Hong Kong, while vowing to return to the region at some point and put on a show.

“The truth is that it was bad luck that I couldn’t (play) on the day of the Hong Kong match.

“Unfortunately, in football, things can happen in any game, that we may have an injury.


“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.


“I hope we can return and we can play another game and I can be present.

“As I do whenever I can.

“But the truth is that it is a shame that I was not able to participate.”

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However, a meeting with Vissel Kobe is Inter Miami’s last of a jet-setting international tour that has taken them from El Salvador to the Far East via Saudi Arabia.

They have one more friendly back on American soil, against Messi’s first club Newell’s Old Boys, before opening the 2024 MLS campaign at home to Real Salt Lake on February 21.

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