Why was Lionel Messi allegedly detained in China? explaining the full details of the unusual Chinese trip by the World Cup champion

Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi was allegedly detained in China at the Beijing Airport as he traveled with the Argentina national team ahead of their match against Australia there. 

The Argentine captain, who recently made a historic switch to Major League Soccer for Inter Miami, was in China. There he was greeted by thousands of fans outside the airport as they wanted to catch a glimpse of the beloved global superstar.

Lionel Messi is currently in China as he will captain his side to a friendly match against Australia at the Workers Stadium on the 15th of June. It will be the first time he will play for the international team since last playing against Curacao on March 29.

Lionel Messi’s visa issue caused a sudden holdup in China

Despite his fame and image, Messi was actually detained at the airport. According to many Chinese media reports, as he arrived in the country, he was stopped and kept by the Chinese Border Police.

The reason was because of an issue with his visa to enter the country. Messi apparently had accidentally brought his Spanish passport instead of his Argentine one. According to Chinese visa regulations, the Argentine passport is visa free while the Spanish one requires a valid Chinese visa.

As he did not have an Argentine passport, he needed to wait as the situation was being clarified by the officials. The matter was then discussed for about 30 minutes, after which Messi was allowed to go outside the airport.

In the video above, Messi is seen with some of his teammates trying to resolve the issue. The Argentine who is usually calm on the football pitch seemed to be a bit unsure and confused. The police officers are seen standing around him, probably to protect against any oncoming fans.

After the match against Australia, Argentine will face Indonesia on June 19. The match will be held in Jakarta at the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex and will be his final game of the 2022-23 season.

When is Lionel Messi playing for Inter Miami?

After snubbing a return to Barcelona and a lucrative contract with Saudi club Al Hilal, Messi joined Inter Milan on a free transfer. The move, widely considered by many to be the best ever transfer to the league, will boost the revenue and popularity of the MLS.

Fans are clamoring to know the date when Messi makes his debut for the David Beckham owned club. Indeed, the prices of tickets for the club’s games have increased ever since Messi joined.


While Messi has already signed with the American club, he is actually still under contract with his previous club Paris Saint-Germain. The contract will end on June 30, after which Messi is free to make his debut for the club. 

The MLS season is already halfway through, with the MLS Cup playoffs soon approaching. It is unlikely that Messi will be able to revive Inter Miami in time for the playoffs, who are currently in last place in the Eastern Conference.

The soonest Messi can play for Miami is on July 8 against D.C. United. This is because MLS regulations mean Messi can’t be registered before July 5. But according to The Athletic, Messi is set to make his debut when Miami hosts Liga MX club Cruz Azul on July 21 in the Leagues Cup. Both matches’ tickets have been sold out.

Fans of the Argentine will have to wait a month or so before they see Messi finally grace the MLS with his magical feet. And surely he will be greeted like a world champion when he does arrive in Miami.

Fazal Al Bashar

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Fazal is a passionate soccer aficionado, who when not discovering the latest soccer stories and rumors, indulges in playing FIFA all night. While he sucks at the sport, he knows the who and what in all things soccer-related.


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