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Football Star Lionel Messi Went To China, Allegedly Got Detained And Then Caused A Huge Fan Craze

Messi had allegedly asked “Is Taiwan not China?” as he believed his passport could be used in both countries.

Argentine football star, Lionel Messi, who led Argentina to win the World Cup title last year, has caused a massive fan craze after arriving in China. 

The world champion arrived in China on Saturday June 10 to participate in an international friendly match between Argentina and Australia

According to initial reports, he was detained at Beijing Airport because he only brought his Spanish passport over passport issues.

Argentine football player lionel messi gets off airplane at Beijing airport
BEIJING, CHINA – JUNE 10: Lionel Messi and team mates of Argentina National Football Team arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport on June 10, 2023 in Beijing, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

The 35-year-old Argentine football player holds both Argentine and Spanish passports but only brought his Spanish passport, which doesn’t have visa-free entry to China.

Spanish citizens are allowed to enter Taiwan without a visa and Messi believed the exemption extended to China as well.

Messi allegedly asked, “Is Taiwan not China?” as he had believed his passport could be used in both countries.

However, local media have denied those reports saying it was another team member, Nicolás Otamendi, who had entry issues, which were reportedly resolved in less than 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Chinese fans were waiting outside Messi’s hotel in Beijing, chanting his name.

Women on Chinese social media then compared men swarming Messi to women waiting for their idols, which is often criticized as”childish” behavior, and pointed out the double standard.

chinese fans wait for Argentine football player Lionel Messi outside hotel in Beijing, China.
BEIJING, CHINA – JUNE 10: Fans wait for the arrival of Lionel Messi at a hotel ahead of 2023 International Football Invitation match between Argentina and Australia on June 10, 2023 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Police are now warning fans about potential scams claiming to offer a meeting with the famous football player.

Chinese fan takes a picture in front of Lionel Messi's wax figure
WUHAN, CHINA – JUNE 14: (CHINA OUT) A visitor poses with a model of Lionel Messi of Argentina at Madame Tussaud’s on June 14, 2023 in Wuhan, China. Argentina and Australia will play a friendly match at Workers Stadium on June 15 in Beijing. (Photo by Wang He/Getty Images)

During the match on Thursday June 15, a fan invaded the pitch to hug Messi and succeeded.

A Chinese fan hugs Messi during Argentina v Australia friendly match in China
BEIJING, CHINA – JUNE 15: A fan hugs Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina during the international friendly match between Argentina and Australia at Workers Stadium on June 15, 2023 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Fu Tian/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)

He was carried off by security guards.

Chinese fan who invaded the pitch to hug Messi is carried away by security guards.
BEIJING, CHINA – JUNE 15: A fan who ran onto the pitch to hug Lionel Messi is carried off by security guards during the international friendly match between Argentina and Australia at Workers Stadium on June 15, 2023 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Fu Tian/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)

35-year-old Messi won the World Cup for Argentina against France in 2022.

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