‘I paid hundreds on travel, hotels and tickets to see Messi – he didn’t show up’

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    Messimania has swept the USA in recent months, with Lionel Messi rocking up to their shores and rewriting the entire footballing landscape.

    And as fans clamour for a glimpse of Messi, ticket prices have skyrocketed and stadiums have sold out in a blink. Messi and Inter Miami rolling into town is akin to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls or Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

    So the few who had got their hands on tickets for Inter Miami's trip to Atlanta United over the weekend would have been counting their lucky stars, until it emerged Messi wouldn't be travelling.

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    Messi, who has just returned from international duty with Argentina, uncharacteristically left the Albiceleste's World Cup qualifier with Ecuador before the final whistle. And he didn't play a part in their following clash against Bolivia.

    There were question marks about his condition ahead of the Atlanta match, and Gerardo Martino said on Friday that Messi is "fine" but he wouldn't make a decision until the last minute.

    What do you think of Lionel Messi's time in the MLS so far? Let us know in the comments section

    And with Messi seemingly not travelling, some fans feel as though they've been left shortchanged: "Messi deciding not to travel to Atlanta and missing his first game in the MLS at the event I paid an exorbitant amount to get tickets for is a really bad beat!"

    "Learning experience for me. I paid a lot for the tickets to this game. Soccer is one of my least favourite sports," a second fumed. While a third said: "I spent $750 (£605) for 2 tickets to watch Messi for the first time in my life but he didn’t travel…"

    "My sister sold her ticket so fast when she found out Messi wasn’t playing," a fourth shared. And another added: "Flights, hotel, scalped tickets… And he's not playing!"

    Inter Miami ticket prices have been sky high, with fans paying hundreds on resale.

    And ahead of the news Messi wouldn't travel, the average price of a ticket for the Atlanta United and Inter Miami clash, according to TicketSmarter, was $172 (£138). The most expensive seats in the house were priced at $1034 (£834.81).

    However, fans can now purchase tickets for as little as $40 (£32).

    • Inter Miami
    • Lionel Messi
    • MLS

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