Lionel Messi has disclosed the reason behind his absence from Inter Miami’s friendly match in Hong Kong, amidst criticism, and has also provided an update on his fitness ahead of the upcoming fixture against Vissel Kobe in Tokyo.
The Argentine superstar opted out of the team’s first game of their Far East tour, sparking demands from supporters for refunds. However, Messi has now shed light on the situation, addressing what he refers to as “the truth” regarding his absence.
With the next game scheduled in Japan against Vissel Kobe, fans are eagerly awaiting Messi’s return to action as he provides insight into his injury status.
Lionel Messi faced backlash from disappointed fans in Asia after he chose to sit out of an exhibition match against a Hong Kong Select XI on Sunday. Despite being present on the bench, Messi’s decision not to play led to booing from the crowd, with some fans also directing their frustration towards Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham. Now, the football legend has moved on to Japan for another pre-season fixture scheduled for Wednesday.
WHAT MESSI SAID
When questioned about his potential participation in the upcoming match against Vissel Kobe, Messi disclosed, “I’m feeling much better compared to a few days ago. Depending on how training progresses, I’m not entirely sure yet if I’ll be able to play. But I’m definitely feeling much improved and eager to get back on the pitch.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Reflecting on the unfortunate circumstances surrounding his absence from the Hong Kong match, Messi expressed regret and emphasized the unpredictability of injuries in football. He expressed his disappointment at not being able to participate, especially considering the excitement of fans in the region. Messi conveyed his hope to return and play another game in the future, reiterating his commitment to being present whenever possible. Despite the setback, he acknowledged the disappointment and remained optimistic about future opportunities to showcase his talent.
WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI & INTER MIAMI?
Next on the agenda for Messi and Inter Miami is a match against Vissel Kobe, marking the conclusion of their extensive international tour, which has seen them travel from El Salvador to the Far East via Saudi Arabia. Following this fixture, they have one final friendly scheduled back in the United States, against Messi’s former club Newell’s Old Boys. Subsequently, they will kick off their 2024 MLS campaign at home against Real Salt Lake on February 21st.