Tokyo, February 06, 2024, The Europe Today: In the wake of a tumultuous weekend in Hong Kong, Lionel Messi has left the door ajar for a potential appearance in Inter Miami’s friendly in Tokyo. The global football icon, who disappointed a legion of fans with a no-show in the highly-anticipated match in Hong Kong, addressed the situation for the first time at a press conference in Tokyo.
Messi, co-owner of Inter Miami alongside David Beckham, faced criticism and a public relations challenge after being benched for the match at Hong Kong Stadium, which resulted in a sellout crowd voicing their displeasure as the team was booed off the field.
Speaking candidly about the incident, Messi stated that it was “disappointing” not to have been able to play in Hong Kong, attributing his absence to swelling in his adductor muscle. The 36-year-old provided context to his actions during an open-door training session in Hong Kong, where he interacted with fans and participated in a clinic with children.
“In Hong Kong, we had an open-door training session, and I went out because there was such a big crowd there, and there was a clinic with the kids, and I wanted to be there and participate,” Messi explained during the press conference held at a Tokyo hotel on Tuesday.
Addressing his physical condition, Messi conveyed that he left Hong Kong “much better” than he did a few days prior, leaving room for optimism regarding his potential involvement in Inter Miami’s upcoming friendly in Tokyo.
The benching of Messi in Hong Kong has cast a shadow over Inter Miami and the local event organizers, turning what was meant to be a thrilling encounter into an unforeseen challenge. As the football world awaits further developments, the possibility of Messi gracing the pitch in Tokyo adds a layer of intrigue to the ongoing narrative surrounding Inter Miami and its high-profile co-owner.