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Messi breaks silence: Reveals why he missed Hong Kong tie

Source: ANI
February 20, 2024 14:44 IST
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Lionel Messi

IMAGE: Lionel Messi shared a video statement on the Chinese social media website Weibo. Photograph: Lam Yik/Reuters

Weeks after Inter Miami's friendly match against the Hong Kong Team, the legendary Argentine footballer Lionel Messi clarified why he could not take part in the game after his name was attached to false narratives.

The eighth-time Ballon d'Or winner shared a video statement on the Chinese social media website Weibo and explained that he wanted to play otherwise, he wouldn't have travelled to China and Japan.

"I've read and heard a lot of things about what happened after the match in Hong Kong. That's why I wanted to make this video to give the real explanation and avoid reading false reports. As everyone knows, I always want to play. I want to play in every match. I heard that I didn't want to play because of politics and many other things that have nothing to do with this. If that were the case I wouldn't have traveled to Japan or to China like I have so many times in my career," Messi was quoted by as saying.


Messi added that he "always had a very close relationship with China" and played a lot of matches in the country with Barcelona and Argentina. The Argentine further added that he had an "inflammation" in his adductor for which he couldn't take part in the game.

"I've always had a very close relationship with China. I've done so many things with China like interviews, (friendly) matches, events and games with Barcelona and the Argentina national team. Like I said during the press conference that I gave: I had inflammation in my adductor and I couldn't play. I felt it in the first game that I played in Saudi Arabia and I tried to play in the second game (in Saudi) but it felt worse," he added.

After the Argentine great failed to take part in the game due to "discomfort," the football fans who were present in the stadium to get a glimpse of the 'greatest footballer of all time' burst into anger, and this reached the politicians of the region. Following that, Beijing said that they would not hold Argentina's friendly clash in March.

"I tried the day before to take part in that training session to be there for all those people. I did what I could and I took part in the clinic with all those kids, but I honestly couldn't play because I felt discomfort," he added.

"After a few days had passed I felt a little better and that's why I played a bit in the friendly in Japan in order to continue improving physically and continue to prepare for what's coming next for me. I had to play to get some rhythm back. I've already said this but I felt it was important to repeat it after everything that has been said. I want to send my love to the people of China, a (feeling) I've always had with them. I hope we can see each other again soon," he concluded.

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Source: ANI