A whole bunch of jubilant followers greeted Lionel Messi as he arrived on Saturday in Beijing, the place his World Cup-winning Argentina will face Australia in a pleasant match subsequent week.
“Messi! Messi!” chanted a number of hundred followers who have been ready for the soccer famous person on the airport, many sporting the blue-and-white striped jersey of the Albiceleste’s No 10, in response to social media pictures.
A number of hundred others waited exterior the group’s resort, not removed from the banks of the Liangma River, common with Beijingers for strolls.
That is Messi’s seventh journey to China, the final being in 2017, in response to native media.
A number of banners written in Spanish and English welcomed the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner on the resort.
“I waited from 9 am to midday,” stated Liu Yuheng, who wore the jersey of Barcelona, the membership the place Messi spent most of his profession.
“I believed he would come by means of the primary door however not by means of the again door. I used to be slightly dissatisfied to not see him,” the 26-year-old advised AFP.
“As I couldn’t purchase a ticket for the sport, I booked a room in the identical resort as Messi and hoped to catch a glimpse of him.”
World champions Argentina will play a pleasant in opposition to Australia on June 15 at Beijing’s newly renovated 68,000-capacity Employees’ Stadium.
By noon, the star’s arrival was essentially the most talked-about subject on the Weibo social community.
“I completely need to see Messi!” wrote one person, echoing others’ feedback.
“I’m nonetheless feeling the feelings of the match when Argentina secured the World Cup,” stated one other, referring to the group’s victory after an epic last in opposition to France in December.
The pleasant will mark the return of worldwide soccer to China, after three years of strict Covid-19 restrictions that emptied stadiums and led to a cascade of cancellations of sporting competitions.
The conflict can be a rematch of the spherical of 16 on the World Cup, the place Argentina gained 2-1 in opposition to the Socceroos.
Messi, who has chosen to depart Paris Saint-Germain over the summer time to pursue his profession with Inter Miami, can even play one other pleasant match, when Argentina takes on Indonesia in Jakarta on June 19, as a part of this tour.
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