Lionel Messi is back in action for Inter Miami in their ongoing Pre-season tour ahead of MLS 2024. Messi signed for Inter Miami in the summer transfer window of 2023 and impressed immediately winning the Leagues Cup 2023 for his club. Although Inter Miami couldn't qualify for the play-off of MLS Season Cup and after a long break now Messi has returned to action hoping to make a difference this time helping Inter Miami secure the title of MLS champions. Although his start of the Pre-season tour hasn't been according to expectation as he failed to feature in the match against Hong Kong XI which led to a PR disaster with fans outraging and claiming refund. With Inter Miami set to play in Japan next, there is still uncertainty over Messi's availability there. Angry Fan Kicks Lionel Messi’s Cut-Out, Damages it After Inter Miami Star Didn’t Feature in Football Friendly Match in Hong Kong, Video Goes Viral.
Speaking to media for the first time since the team and their co-owner David Beckham were booed off the field, Messi said on Tuesday it was "disappointing" that he was unable to play, citing swelling in his adductor muscle. Lionel Messi added that his leg injury was “getting better” but the World Cup-winning captain could not guarantee he would be fit to play in Inter Miami’s pre-season friendly in Japan this week.
"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," the 36-year-old told a press conference at a Tokyo hotel. But the truth is that the discomfort was still there and it was very difficult for me to play. I can understand that people were looking forward to it and I hope that there will be another opportunity for me to play in Hong Kong."
"For tomorrow, I don't know, we'll need to see how it goes in training today," he added. "We still don't know if I would be able to or not, but I feel much better than I did a few days ago and really want to be able to play." Organiser Withdraws Application for Funds After Public Anger Over Lionel Messi’s Absence in Hong Kong Game.
Tickets for the Japan leg of the US Major League Soccer (MLS) club’s globe-trotting pre-season tour are costing between 10,000 yen ($68) and 200,000 yen ($1,346) with “special experience” packages priced even higher. Inter Miami is all set to play Vissel Kobe in a Club Friendly on Wednesday.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 06, 2024 04:40 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).