Messi hopes to play in Tokyo friendly


After disappointing a legion of fans in Hong Kong with a no-show on the pitch at the weekend, Lionel Messi left open the possibility of playing in Inter Miami’s friendly in Tokyo, saying he left “much better” than he did a few days ago.

The Argentine’s benching for the highly-anticipated match in front of a sellout crowd at Hong Kong Stadium has turned into a public relations debacle for his Major League Soccer side and organisers of the local event.

Speaking to media for the first time since the team and their co-owner David Beckham were booed off the field, Messi said on Tuesday it was “disappointing” that he was unable to play, citing swelling in his adductor muscle.