“I really wanted to play” – Lionel Messi reveals why he missed game in Hong Kong and when he’ll be back for Inter Miami 


Inter Miami captain Lionel Messi has explained why he missed the friendly against Hong Kong XI on Sunday (February 4).

The 36-year-old missed the game against the collection of Hong Kong’s first division stars owing to muscle discomfort. Having only played the last few minutes of his team’s 6-0 loss to Al-Nassr in the previous friendly in Riyadh on February 1, Messi did not step on to the pitch in Hong Kong three days later.

Explaining his absence in the game despite fans flocking to see him, Messi explained (as per Albiceleste Talk):

“I missed the last match in Hong Kong due to muscle discomfort. I really wanted to play because many people came, but this is part of the game.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup winner added that he hopes to play the final overseas friendly in Vissel Kobe on Wednesday (February 7):

“The pre season tour is coming to an end, and I would like to play the last match in Japan before returning. My condition will be evaluated after today’s training, and it will be determined whether I will play or not.”

Despite Messi’s absence, the Herons notched up their first win of the pre-season winning 4-1. Their preseason draws to a close with a home game with Messi’s boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys on February 15 at the DRV PNK stadium in Miami.

How has Lionel Messi fared in Inter Miami’s pre-season so far?

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Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi started Inter Miami’s first pre-season game of the year in a hybrid friendly at El Salvador on January 20, which ended goalless. Messi also started the next friendly, against FC Dallas in the Cotton Bowl Stadium three days later, which the Herons lost 1-0.

The Argentine, along with his former Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez, started again, this time in the 4-3 defeat to Al-Hilal in Riyadh on January 29, with both Messi and Suarez scoring.

Tata Martino’s side then slumped to a heavy 6-0 defeat three days later to Al-Nassr, with Messi coming on for the final few minutes but failing to make an impact.

In Inter Miami’s next friendly in Hong Kong on February 4, Messi didn’t play, but the MLS side won. Their preseason comes to an end following the upcoming games with Vissel Kobe and Newell’s Old Boys.

Edited by Bhargav

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