Lionel Messi: Argentine Apologises to Chinese Fans in Video After Missing Friendly Due to Injury

Lionel Messi: Argentine Apologises to Chinese Fans in Video After Missing Friendly Due to Injury

Byron Pillay
updated at February 20, 2024 at 7:13 AM
  • Lionel Messi failed to feature in a game for Inter Miami against Hong Kong XI because of injury
  • The 2022 World Cup winner then played a game three days later against Vissel Kobe in Japan
  • The Beijing FA were so upset they cancelled two of Argentina's upcoming games in the country

Lionel Messi has apologised to Chinese fans after he missed a game against Hong Kong.

The 2022 World Cup winner faced a lot of criticism from supporters in the country after his no-show through injury.

Lionel Messi has had to apologise to fans in China after he could not play a game in the country through injury.
Lionel Messi has apologised to fans in China after the Beijing Football Association was upset that he no-showed a friendly against Hong Kong. Image: Jun Sato.
Source: Getty Images

The Argentinian player was due to feature for Inter Miami in a friendly against Hong Kong XI but did not play due to an injury.

Three days later, however, he played in a game against Vissel Kobe in Japan, further angering Chinese fans.

Messi has since released a video on social media explaining the circumstances around his absence.

In the video, Messi explains that he wanted to set the record straight because he heard and read many things which were not true, Give Me Sport noted.

His comments were translated as follows:

"I always want to play and be involved in every game. I've heard some people say I didn't want to play for political reasons and many other reasons that are totally untrue.
"If that were the case, I would never have travelled to Japan or visited China as many times as I have."

Messi further explained that he had an inflamed adductor and couldn’t feature against Al-Hilal. He then tried to play against Al-Nassr, but it got worse.

"On the day before the Hong Kong game, I tried to train and made an effort for all those who'd come to watch the training. I did all I could," he added.

How Beijing FA reacted to Messi’s no-show

While Chinese fans were upset with the Argentinian captain for failing to play in the country, Chinese officials took their gripe to a whole other level.

As noted by GOAL previously, the Beijing Football Association cancelled two games that Argentina were due to play in the country.

The World Cup winners were scheduled to play both Nigeria and Ivory Coast in the country but have to find a new venue after the Beijing FA decided to call off the fixtures.

Angry fan knocks Messi’s head off

Sports Brief has also reported how Chinese fans were angry with Lionel Messi after he failed to play in a game against Hong Kong XI.

The Hong Kong government demanded answers from Inter Miami, as many fans were eager to see the 2022 World Cup winner.

While the government was diplomatic in their approach, fans were less so, and one even kicked a cardboard Messi's head off.

Byron Pillay photo
Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.