Inter Miami: Fans in Hong Kong angrily boo Lionel Messi

Carlo Garganese
Lionel Messi, 2023-24, Inter Miami

Fans in Hong Kong were left furious on Sunday after Lionel Messi did not see any game time in Inter Miami’s friendly against Hong Kong All Stars.

Miami are currently on a mini-tour of Asia ahead of the 2024 MLS season that begins this month.

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On Sunday, they played a Hong Kong League XI, winning the game 4-1 thanks to goals from Robert Taylor, Lawson Sunderland, Leonardo Campana and Ryan Sailor.

But local fans were furious as neither Messi nor his former Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez played one minute of the game.

Many fans had bought tickets for the match purely to see Messi, but he remained on the bench the whole game.

It is reported that fans at Hong Kong Stadium shouted “refund” and booed the Inter Miami substitutions when it became clear that Messi and Suarez were not going to be brought on.

Inter Miami ended a three-game losing streak, having been thrashed 6-0 by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr this week.

Messi in 2023

Since joining Inter Miami last summer on a free transfer from PSG, he has scored an impressive 11 goals in 14 games for the MLS club officially.

The year of 2023 was a special one for Messi.

He won the Ballon d’Or off the back of his heroics for Argentina at the 2022 World Cup as he led the Albiceleste to their first triumph in 36 years.

The veteran was the player of the tournament, taking home the Golden Ball after scoring seven goals and providing three assists on the road to glory.

He scored in every knockout round and struck twice in the final as Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw.

Messi also enjoyed an excellent 2022-23 season with PSG, scoring 21 goals in 41 games.

The MLS season starts on February 21, with Messi’s Inter Miami playing Real Salt Lake at Fort Lauderdale.

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