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Lionel Messi explains absence in Hong Kong friendly after public anger

Lionel Messi is ready to play in Wednesday’s friendly against Japanese club Vissel Kobe after missing Inter Miami’s friendly in Hong Kong.

Lionel Messi’s absence in Inter Miami’s friendly in Hong Kong prompted the country’s government to express its disappointment.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner, who is reportedly struggling with a hamstring injury, was not included in Inter Miami’s matchday squad.

Fans chanted “refund,” and the Hong Kong government said match organisers may face a reduction in funding after Messi missed the match.

In a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday, Messi explained why he missed Inter Miami’s friendly match.

“The truth is that it was bad luck that I couldn’t (play) on the day of the Hong Kong match. Unfortunately, in football, things can happen in any game, that we may have an injury. It’s a shame because I always want to participate, I want to be there, and even more so when it comes to these games when we travel so far and people are so excited to see our matches. I hope we can return and we can play another game and I can be present. As I do whenever I can. But the truth is that it is a shame that I was not able to participate.”

Inter Miami’s Asian tour will come to an end on Wednesday in Tokyo’s National Stadium against Vissel Kobe.

Messi added: “The truth is that I feel very good compared to a few days ago. And depending on how that (training) goes. And if I’m honest, I still don’t know if I will be able to or not. But I feel much better and I really want to be able to do it.”

Sam Barton
Sam Barton
Sam Barton fell in love with football during the 98 World Cup and has been fascinated by it ever since. The tactical side of the game is what truly inspires him to think, read and write about football, making him the ideal football writer.
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