Lionel Messi misses Inter Miami’s preseason match in Hong Kong: Highlights, score

Lionel Messi wore Inter Miami gear, but was not in uniform sitting on the bench at the start of the club’s match in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Messi was not listed on Inter Miami’s roster as available to play, the club posted on social media before the match.

One day after captivating a sold-out crowd in Hong Kong Stadium for just a practice, Messi will not play and get some rest in the club’s fifth preseason match before the 2024 MLS season.

Inter Miami standouts Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and goalie Drake Callendar were listed as substitutes against a group of Hong Kong all-stars.

How much Messi would play was a question after the Argentine World Cup champion and eight-time Ballon d’Or winner experienced injury discomfort during the week in Saudi Arabia.

It’s “likely” Messi will play, Inter Miami coach Tata Martino said when the club arrived in Hong Kong on Friday. But it was not.

Messi started in the first three Inter Miami preseason matches, but came on in the 83rd minute Thursday against Saudi powerhouse Al Nassr to conservatively finish the second of two matches at the Riyadh Season Cup.

Messi experienced injury discomfort during Inter Miami’s 4-3 loss to Al Hilal on Monday, and during a training session Tuesday. He took an MRI to evaluate the injury. He was not initially expected to play against Al Nassr.

Lionel Messi and Inter Miami are playing a preseason game in Hong Kong.

How to watch Messi match today: Inter Miami in Hong Kong

Inter Miami will face Hong Kong XI inside Hong Kong Stadium at 3 a.m. ET Sunday, on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, looking for their first win in five preseason contests.

Messi and Inter Miami held a practice in front of a sold-out crowd of 40,000 fans at Hong Kong Stadium on Saturday, and expect the same turnout Sunday.

David Beckham, a co-owner of Inter Miami, took to social media to describe the scene.

“Amazing… a sold out stadium for our pre-season training session in Hong Kong,”  Beckham posted on Instagram. “Thank you for all your incredible support and love, see you all tomorrow.”

How has Inter Miami performed this preseason?

Inter Miami has lost three preseason matches, and their other match finished in a draw.

Inter Miami has scored three goals (all in one match) and allowed 11 goals total.

“If there is a time when this has to happen and an alarm has to ring, it is better that it happens in preseason. We will try to improve and put the best team forward,” Martino said.

Inter Miami’s upcoming schedule

Inter Miami has two more preseason matches, but one will be played abroad.

Inter Miami will face Japanese champion Vissel Kobe in Tokyo on Wednesday, then return home to South Florida. A week later on Feb. 15, the club will face Newell’s Old Boys – the Argentine team from Messi’s hometown.

Inter Miami’s 2024 MLS season begins with two matches in the opening weekend: Inter Miami hosts Real Salt Lake on Feb. 21, and visits the L.A. Galaxy on Feb. 25.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Messi match today: Did Lionel Messi play for Inter Miami in Hong Kong?


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