Hong Kong’s soccer fans will get to see Lionel Messi in action in February

HONG KONG — Soccer fans in Hong Kong will be able to see the world’s best player Lionel Messi in action next year when David Beckham’s Inter Miami play the Hong Kong team in February.

The highly anticipated match has been scheduled for Feb. 4 at the Hong Kong Stadium. 

During their visit, the team will have an open training session — and half of those tickets will be reserved for community outreach. This is the team’s first international tour.

Beckham, the American club’s co-owner and president, sealed the deal to bring the team to Hong Kong when he visited the city last week. 

Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time, was last in Hong Kong in 2014 when Argentina played against the city’s national team.

The Argentina captain completed the set of major soccer honors after leading his country to clinch the World Cup title last year, which was promptly followed by his U.S. club winning the Leagues Cup in August. In addition to Messi, the all-star line up will also include teammates Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets.

Luxury and lifestyle media company Tatler Asia will host Inter Miami in Hong Kong, after having secured a 3-year agreement with the team. There are plans to hold a sporting and lifestyle event that rivals the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix.

Between the open training session and the exhibition game, some 80,000 people will be able to watch the game, Michel Lamunière, Tatler Asia’s chairman, told CNBC. He predicted that about 50% of the people will be from Hong Kong, 30% from mainland China and the remaining from the rest of Asia.

Lamunière expects the event to be a boost to Hong Kong’s economy.

“This event is not just a football game — we see the event [becoming] the equivalent of Formula One that is happening in Singapore, but in Hong Kong.”

“In addition to the football game, there will be multiple festivities across the city, from F&B festivals, music, retail,” he said, adding that Hong Kong’s party district Lan Kwai Fong will be made pink to match the team’s colors.

Tickets for the friendly match will go on sale from Dec. 15, priced between $880 Hong Kong dollars to HK$4,880 (about $112 to $624). They will be sold exclusively through Hong Kong based e-commerce travel app Klook.

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