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12th Jun 2023

Lionel Messi stopped by Chinese border control

Callum Boyle

Lionel Messi

Messi was delayed for over two hours

Lionel Messi was stopped by border patrol in China after he travelled without the correct passport.

Messi landed in Beijing alongside a number of his friends, including fellow World Cup winner Angel Di Maria, ahead of Argentina’s friendly against Australia on Thursday.

But after arriving in the capital, the 35-year-old was confronted by the border patrol officers who were not happy with his documents.

Chinese media reported that problems arose because Messi was travelling with his Spanish passport instead of Argentinian one.

They added that Messi is believed to have thought that Taiwan was a part of China and allegedly asked border guards: “Is Taiwan not China?”

After informing the border control staff that he did not have his Argentinian passport, Messi was reportedly held in the airport for two hours so that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner could be granted a visa and could enter the country.

His hectic start to his time in China didn’t end there after he was left ‘trapped’ in his Beijing hotel alongside his teammates after a large group of supporters gathered outside of his hotel to try and greet him.

Lionel Messi

Argentina’s training session on Sunday delayed was promptly delayed as a result of the chaos.

It comes days after the forward confirmed he would be joining Inter Miami this season following the expiration of his contract at Paris Saint-Germain.

Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal tried to make a mouth-watering offer to persuade the 35-year-old to come to the Middle East, but he cited that money wasn’t the driving force behind his decision. He’s expected to link up with his new teammates after the international break.

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