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Lionel Messi responds to Inter Miami booing incident during friendly in Hong Kong

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Lionel Messi has defended himself after Inter Miami faced boos from fans during a friendly in Hong Kong where he didn’t play.

The former Barcelona star remained on the bench throughout his team’s 4-1 victory against a Hong Kong side on Sunday.

However, this happened to the disappointment of thousands of fans who had hoped to see him in action.

The absence of Messi led to chants of ‘Where is Messi?’ and booing from the crowd, even during the trophy presentation.

 

Lionel Messi – Getty image

The Hong Kong government released a statement mentioning Messi’s absence, with the secretary for culture, sports, and tourism, Kevin Yeung, stating that Messi was supposed to play for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, Messi has come out to addressed the situation, saying, “I always want to play, especially in these games where we travel so far and people want to see our games.

“Unfortunately, this happens in football. In any game, it can happen that you can’t play. I hope we can return and play a game in Hong Kong.”

Even Inter Miami substitutes were booed as they entered the pitch while Messi remained on the bench.

Inter Miami’s final pre-season match will be against Messi’s boyhood club, Newell’s Old Boys, before they begin their MLS campaign at home against Real Salt Lake.

Messi scored 11 goals in 14 appearances in his debut season and played a crucial role in their Leagues Cup triumph, their first-ever trophy win.

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