The dust hasn’t settled yet on Lionel Messi’s unexpected absence from the Inter Miami friendly in Hong Kong, a decision that left fans fuming and sparked controversy. Now, Messi himself has addressed the situation, offering a mix of explanation, apology, and hope for a future return.
Speaking in Tokyo, where Inter Miami are preparing for another friendly match, Messi acknowledged the disappointment, stating, “The truth is that it was bad luck that I couldn’t (play) on the day of the Hong Kong match.” He emphasized the inherent risks in football, where “injuries can happen in any game.”
Messi’s words resonated with the sentiment expressed by his manager, Tata Martino, who cited concerns about player fitness for the decision. However, fans who paid hefty sums for a chance to see their idol felt shortchanged, leading to chants of “We want Messi” and demands for an explanation from organizers.
Despite the disappointment, Messi reiterated his desire to play, stating, “I always want to participate, I want to be there, and even more so when it comes to these games when we travel so far and people are so excited to see our matches.” He pledged a potential return, saying, “I hope we can return and we can play another game and I can be present. As I do whenever I can.”
Looking ahead to the upcoming encounter against Vissel Kobe, Messi left his participation uncertain. While acknowledging improved fitness compared to just a few days ago, he admitted, “I still don’t know if I will be able to or not.” Still, the positive change in his condition coupled with his clear desire to play offer a glimmer of hope for fans eager to see the maestro on the pitch.