Lionel Messi fell into a melee at Beijing Airport as China border control team stopped him from entering the country because of a wrong passport.
According to reports, Lionel Messi attempted to use a wrong passport to enter the country before he was stopped by the border control team.
Sources close to the incident said Lionel Messi wanted to use his Spanish passport to enter China instead of his Argentinian passport resulting in the holdup at the Airport.
The Barcelona legend made Lionel Scaloni’s squad slated for the double header international friendly later this week. According to reports, Lionel Messi touched down China with his bodyguards, friends, and entourage ahead of the friendly against Australia and Indonesia.
Also joining Lionel Messi in his entourage for the double header was his Argentina teammate, Angel di Maria.
In a viral footage making the rounds on social media, a number of Chinese security operatives could be seen milling around Messi as the latter tried to explain himself with his passport in his hands.
It was later revealed that Messi and his entourage slipped into the melee because of not having the right passport.
Chinese media revealed Lionel Messi thought he could enter China with his Spanish passport having used same to enter Chinese neighboring country, Taiwan.
The footie icon was confused as he thought Taiwan is same as China and same passport can be used to enter both countries.
Amid the awkward moment of impasse, Lionel Messi was quoted as saying, “Is Taiwan not China?”
Reports from Chinese media confirmed Lionel Messi had to be delayed for hours at the airport before he was being granted a pass after necessary documentation. He was issued a VISA before being allowed to enter the country.
The awkward moment came more as a surprise with reports emerging it was not the first time Lionel Messi had visited China. He has touched down the Asian and global economic powerhouse six times throughout his career.
The footie icon announced himself to the world as an upcoming and fast-rising superstar in China back in 2008 when he led Argentina Olympic team to win Gold Medal in 2008 Olympics.
Lionel Messi would then go on to win his first treble with Barcelona and then clinch his first Ballon d’Or award in 2009 before going ahead to smash the award a record seven times.
Lionel Messi is in the twilights of his once glittering and legendary career but it appears the 2022 World Cup hero is not ready to hang the boots anytime soon.
He will be out of contract at PSG this month and has already confirmed his exit from the club and the decision to move to the MLS for a more calm football lifestyle.
He will officially become Inter Miami player on June 5 and will join the club next month from French capital.
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi will be expected to shove the impasse at the Beijing Airport and lead Argentina to victory against Australia on June 15 before taking on Indonesia on June 19 later this month.
He is Argentina all-time top-scorer with 102 goals in 174 matches and will hope to extend the tally this week.