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Messi says leg ‘getting better’ but could miss Japan match

By AFP
February 07, 2024

TOKYO: Lionel Messi said on Tuesday his leg injury was “getting better” but the World Cup-winning captain could not guarantee he would be fit to play in Inter Miami´s pre-season friendly in Japan this week.

Argentine footballer Lionel Messi talks to reporters in Tokyo. — AFP/File
Argentine footballer Lionel Messi talks to reporters in Tokyo. — AFP/File

Two days ago, furious fans in Hong Kong booed Messi and club co-owner David Beckham, shouting “Refund”, after the Argentina great failed to take the field for a sold-out friendly.

“I don´t know if I can (play) or not but I feel a lot better and really want to do it,” eight-time Ballon d´Or winner Messi told reporters ahead of their match against Japanese champions Vissel Kobe on Wednesday.

“This afternoon we´re going to practise, we´ll try again. I have a good feeling, compared to how I was.”

Excitement has been building for the friendly at Tokyo´s National Stadium, with Inter Miami´s pink colours adorning parts of the city´s trendy Shibuya district.

Tickets for the Japan leg of the US Major League Soccer (MLS) club´s globe-trotting pre-season tour are costing between 10,000 yen ($68) and 200,000 yen ($1,346) with “special experience” packages priced even higher.