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Messi Mess in Hong Kong

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2024 8:47 am
by SitangCampus
Thousands of soccer fans in Hong Kong were left disappointed when Argentine superstar Lionel Messi failed to take to the field in a friendly match for Inter Miami on Sunday (Feb 4, 2024).
What started with overwhelming cheers and rapture ended in boos and calls for refunds in the sold-out, 40,000-seat Hong Kong Stadium.
Inter Miami — out to prove a point having gone winless during a worldwide pre-season tour — comfortably defeated a Hong Kong XI 4-1 in an event branded as Tatler XFEST Hong Kong.
But even in the lead-up to and during the game, there was the sense that the scoreline did not matter to fans; more important was witnessing Messi, a World Cup champion and eight-time Ballon d’Or winner, grace the field.
Even Hong Kong’s government has shared its dismay at the 36-year-old not featuring in the match.
“Messi was not able to play in the friendly game today and the government and fans are equally disappointed at the arrangements by the event organiser,” it said in a statement on Sunday. “The event organiser owes fans an explanation.”

Re: Messi Mess in Hong Kong

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2024 1:58 am
by Mr Greg
Big news here in Hong Kong.

He played a game yesterday in Japan for 30 minutes. He did say he felt uncomfortable and had to miss the game in Hong Kong, but there was no clarification till after the match.

As a football fan, friendly/exhibition games aren't worth the $100+ price tag. Messi is on a huge contract and these games don't matter, even if it is pre-season. He is 36 years old and is just being used as a face to promote the team. Those who are demanding a refund because they didn't see Messi play aren't football fans at all. Everybody knows the risk of injury who indulge themselves in the sport.

Re: Messi Mess in Hong Kong

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2024 4:14 am
by SitangCampus
Of all the six warm-up overseas matches with Asian rivals, Messi just missed the match in Hong Kong, what a coincidence! Fans or not, it was the expectation to see his performance that viewers bought tickets and they were not limited to local people, some of them coming from elsewhere. For example, a man was present on site by skipping his college lessons and flying from Australia. Even Messi did have problem with his body, he could have said a few words to explain this face to face with live audience, but his unchanged poker face from the first minute to the end of the ceremony had said it all, enraging even the neutral people who don't know what soccer is. Some jeered that his bad physical condition had spread from the feet to the throat, making him unable to utter a word.
Some said he was under the political pressure to express his support to the Hong Kong indepence force, which was fully evidenced and highly eye-catching when he kept himself away by going a big circle from the direct contact with the Chief Executive of Hong Kong during the award-giving ceremony.
Messi is very problematic in this regard, though nobody could deny his soccer skills and achievements.