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Inter Miami star Lionel Messi facing major backlash over video to fans

Inter Miami star Lionel Messi facing major backlash over video to fans

Inter Miami star Lionel Messi has received huge backlash following a video explained why he didn't play a friendly in Hong Kong.

Lionel Messi has been faced with huge backlash following a video explaining why he didn't play for Inter Miami in a Hong Kong friendly.

Inter went on a pre-season tour of the Far and Middle East ahead of the new MLS season, including a fixture against a Hong Kong XI on 4 February.

The Herons ran out 4-1 winners, with Robert Taylor, Lawson Sunderland, Leonardo Campana and Ryan Sailor all on target.

Messi, however, was an unused substitute and did not enter the fray.

It was later communicated that the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner was suffering from a muscle injury.

However, Messi ended up playing a friendly in Japan days later, much to the anger of 38,323, fans who had paid up to £500 to be in attendance at the Hong Kong Stadium.

With Messi not featuring, Inter were accused of breaking a contract clause and there have even been calls for him to be banned from Hong Kong.

Messi did address the matter and called it a "shame" that he was unable to play.

He then felt the need to add a further explanation in an video which was shared on Chinese social media site Weibo.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

"I've read and heard many things that have been said after the game in Hong Kong. I wanted to record this video and give you the true version so nobody has to continue reading false stories," Messi said.

"I've heard people say that I didn't want to play for political reasons and many other reasons that are totally untrue.

"Had that been the case I wouldn't have even travelled to Japan or visited China, as I have many times.

"Since the start of my career I've had a very close and special relationship with China.

"As I said in the press conference, I had an inflamed adductor and I couldn't play in the first game in Saudi Arabia, which is when I felt it," he said.

"In the second game I tried to play for a bit, but it got worse. Then on the day before the game [in Hong Kong] I tried to train and made an effort for all those who had come to watch training.

"It felt a bit better a few days later and that's why I played for a bit in Japan to prepare fitness-wise for everything to come because I needed to play and get back up to speed."

As per Esport3, the video racked up over 2 million interactions but the angry from fans has still remained.

The Hong Kong Government slated Messi's no-show, leading to the organisers,

Tatler Asia, announced a 50% refund on tickets.

In addition, two upcoming Argentina friendlies set to be played in China were both cancelled.

Featured Image Credit: Weibo

Topics: Inter Miami, Lionel Messi, MLS