"Is Taiwan not China?" Messi Ends Up at Beijing Airport with the Wrong Passport. Here's What Happened.
Local Chinese media reported that the problem arose from Messi's use of the incorrect passport
Lionel Messi faced a small issue at Beijing Airport when he was stopped at border control for trying to use his Spanish passport instead of his Argentine one.
The 35-year-old Argentine international arrived in China via a private jet over the weekend, accompanied by his “bodyguard" and a group of friends, to join his international teammates in preparation for a friendly match against Australia on Thursday.
However, upon his arrival in Beijing, a video circulating on social media showed Messi surrounded by several police officers. He was seen clutching his passport while discussing the matter with them.
Local Chinese media reported that the problem arose from Messi’s use of the incorrect passport. According to UK-based Mirror, Messi believed his Spanish passport would allow him to travel to Taiwan, assuming it would also be valid for China.
He was quoted as saying, “Is Taiwan not China?"
Despite representing the Argentine national team, Messi reportedly did not have his Argentine passport with him at the time.
According to the reports, Messi faced a slight delay of two additional hours before eventually being granted a visa and allowed to proceed.
This China visit comes on the heels of Messi’s massive Inter Miami transfer.
The world cup winner opted to decline reported offers to return to Barcelona or follow Cristiano Ronaldo to Saudi Arabia, instead joining the franchise owned by David Beckham.
Messi will officially become an Inter Miami player on July 5.
Since the landmark announcement last Wednesday, there has been substantial demand for tickets to see the renowned star.
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