Messi and Beckham Booed as Messi Misses Hong Kong Friendly

 Messi and Beckham Booed as Messi Misses Hong Kong Friendly

Lionel Messi and David Beckham were booed on Sunday after the Argentine superstar failed to take part in Inter Miami's pre-season friendly in Hong Kong

On Sunday, Lionel Messi and David Beckham faced boos from a disappointed crowd as Messi, due to a hamstring strain, remained on the bench during Inter Miami's pre-season friendly against a Hong Kong select XI, which they won 4-1. The near-capacity crowd, who paid high ticket prices to witness the football legend, expressed their frustration through chants of "We want Messi" and increasingly loud boos when it became evident that Messi wouldn't play. The displeasure continued after the match, with boos drowning out Beckham's attempt to thank the crowd for their support, and fans signaling their discontent with thumbs-down gestures. The absence of Messi and Luis Suarez, who also didn't play due to a knee injury, disappointed fans, and Miami coach Gerardo Martino acknowledged their feelings, citing the decision made by the club's medical team to avoid risks.

Messi, a World Cup-winning captain, played only six minutes in the previous match against Saudi Arabia and now faces a race to recover from his hamstring strain before the new MLS season begins on February 21. Despite tens of thousands showing up to watch Messi train and the tremendous demand for tickets, Miami's decision to prioritize player safety received mixed reactions from fans. The team's starting lineup did not feature other former Barcelona stars Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, and while Messi shirts were selling rapidly, the disappointment among fans was palpable as the superstar did not make an appearance in the Hong Kong friendly.

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