Messi’s Absence Sparks Frustration and Fan Outcry in Hong Kong Pre-Season Friendly


Lionel Messi, often hailed as the greatest footballer of his generation, found himself at the center of controversy during Inter-Miami’s pre-season friendly in Hong Kong. The Argentina superstar, along with co-owner David Beckham, faced the ire of disappointed fans who demanded refunds after Messi sat out the match, citing a hamstring strain.

The atmosphere in the Hong Kong Stadium turned tense as the near-capacity crowd of 38,323, many of whom had paid significant sums upwards of 1,000 Hong Kong dollars ($125) and more, expressed their frustration at not witnessing their football idol in action. The discontent reached a boiling point, with chants of “We want Messi” echoing throughout the stadium, underscoring the fans’ eagerness to see the World Cup-winning captain on the pitch.

The disappointment was palpable as Messi remained rooted to the bench throughout the game, despite Inter-Miami securing a convincing 4-1 victory against a Hong Kong select XI. The absence of the football icon left fans questioning the organizers and seeking an explanation for Messi’s non-participation in the much-anticipated exhibition match.

About Messi’s Absence Sparks Frustration:

The situation escalated to the point where the city government weighed in, emphasizing that the organizers owed fans a satisfactory explanation for Messi’s absence. The frustration was not only about the outcome of the match but also the perceived lack of transparency regarding Messi’s fitness status and the decision-making process behind keeping him on the sidelines.

While Messi’s hamstring strain was cited as the reason for his non-involvement, the disappointment felt by fans was exacerbated by the high ticket prices. Many had invested significantly to witness the historic encounter, only to find themselves deprived of the opportunity to see Messi showcase his unparalleled skills on the pitch.

The incident raises questions about the expectations and responsibilities of star players in high-profile exhibition matches. Fans invest not just monetarily but emotionally in such events, anticipating the chance to witness their idols in action. The episode also highlights the delicate balance organizers must strike between promoting star power and ensuring the integrity of the game.

In the aftermath of the controversial pre-season friendly, both Messi and the organizers may face scrutiny and calls for greater transparency in communicating player availability for such events. The incident serves as a reminder that, in the world of football, balancing fan expectations, player well-being, and financial considerations is a complex task that requires careful navigation.


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