Inter Miami president David Beckham was booed as he addressed fans in Hong Kong following a Lionel Messi no-show in the country. The fans asked Beckham for a refund since they did not get to see the Argentine great in action.
Lionel Messi was an unused sub as Inter Miami finally recorded its first win of the pre-season tour by a comfortable 4-1 scoreline. The superstar missed out on the game despite having played as a substitute in the 6-0 defeat against Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia on February 1 in the Riyadh Season Cup.
Being one of the biggest attractions for Inter Miami, Hong Kong fans and allegedly even the government were not happy with the MLS club’s decision to rest him. Fans had turned out in their hordes, filling out a 40,000-capacity stadium to see him train a day before the match, only for him not to feature in the game.
With the forward still feeling a hamstring injury, Inter Miami boss Gerardo Martino opted against risking his side’s captain as his side coasted to victory over their opponents. The 36-year-old watched on from the sidelines as his teammates made light work of the Hong Kong XI they faced. Martino had indicated that Messi would feature in the match, only for the Argentine boss to decide against playing him at all.
Not just Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez all started on the bench for the Herons. Former Wolves man Leo Campana showed off his quality in the game, scoring once and setting up another for his side in his first start of the tour.
Inter Miami hopeful of Lionel Messi availability for Vissel Kobe match
Inter Miami manager Gerardo Martino hopes to have Lionel Messi available for the final leg of their pre-season tour, as they travel to Japan to face Vissel Kobe. The manager gave his explanation about the absence of his talismanic forward, and revealed the extent of his injury.
“Leo has an inflammation in his adductor and we are taking it day by day. We always have the hope that things can improve, but the medical staff said it was very risky.”
With their tour coming to an end, Martino and Inter Miami will hope Messi is available to feature against Vissel Kobe. They will, however, be keen to avoid any serious injuries, having already lost Facundo Farias for most of the season with an ACL.