Lionel Messi says he “feels much better” and hopes to play in Inter Miami’s pre-season friendly in Japan

The World Cup-winning captain Lionel Messi stated on Tuesday that his leg injury was “getting better,” but he could not guarantee that he would be ready to play in Inter Miami’s preseason friendly against Japan this week.

Two days prior, angry fans in Hong Kong booed Messi and club co-owner David Beckham, shouting “Refund,” when the legendary player from Argentina was unable to show up for a sold-out friendly.

Ahead of their Wednesday match against Japanese champions Vissel Kobe, eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi told reporters, “I don’t know if I can (play) or not but I feel a lot better and really want to do it.” He added, “This afternoon we’re going to practise, we’ll try again. I have a good feeling, compared to how I was.”

Nearly 40,000 people in Hong Kong, who had paid for expensive tickets, were furious when Messi stayed on the bench throughout their 4-1 victory against a local select XI.

“It was really bad luck that I couldn’t play in Hong Kong,” Messi said. He added, “Unfortunately this happens in football, in any game it can happen that you can’t play. I always want to participate, I want to play, especially in these games where we travel so far and people want to see our games. I hope we can return and play a game in Hong Kong.”

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