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Inter Miami superstar Lionel Messi opens up on missing friendly match in Hong Kong

Inter Miami are facing some criticism from fans following Lionel Messi’s absence from the pre-season friendly.

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi, the captain of Inter Miami, gave an explanation for his absence from Sunday’s (February 4) friendly versus Hong Kong XI. Muscle soreness kept the 36-year-old out of the match against Hong Kong’s first-tier elite. Messi did not appear on the field in Hong Kong three days after playing just the final few minutes of his side’s 6-0 loss against Al-Nassr during their previous game in Riyadh on February 1.

Messi provided an explanation for his absence from the game. Wven though supporters flocked to see him, according to Albiceleste Talk. He said, “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 champion also mentioned that he intends to participate in Wednesday’s foreign friendly in Vissel Kobe. He added, “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.”

How have Messi and Inter Miami performed in pre-season?

The Herons won 4-1 to record their first preseason victory despite Messi’s absence. On January 15, at the DRV PNK stadium in Miami. They played at home against Messi’s childhood team, Newell’s Old Boys, to round up their preseason.

On January 20, Lionel Messi kicked off Inter Miami’s inaugural preseason match of the year, a goalless hybrid friendly against El Salvador. Three days later, Messi again started the following friendly, which the Herons lost 1-0 at Cotton Bowl Stadium versus FC Dallas.

The Argentine made another starting appearance, this time with his old Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez, in the 4-3 loss against Al-Hilal in Riyadh on January 29, including goals from Messi and Suarez. Three days later, Tata Martino’s team lost 6-0 to Al-Nassr, with Messi substituting in the last minutes however failing to register an effect. Messi did not participate in Inter Miami’s subsequent game in Hong Kong on February 4, but the MLS team prevailed.

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