Lionel Messi was stopped at the Beijing Airport border check while trying to use his Spanish passport rather than his Argentine one.
Last weekend, the 35-year-old arrived in China on a private plane, accompanied by his ‘bodyguard’ and a number of pals, including Argentina star Angel di Maria.
Messi was on his way to join his international colleagues ahead of Thursday’s friendly against Australia.
A social media video showed the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner surrounded by six police officers. Messi appeared to be clutching his passport while discussing the situation with them.
According to Chinese media, problems arose because Messi used the wrong passport.
According to reports, Messi assumed he could go to Taiwan on his Spanish passport, which was also valid in China.
“Is Taiwan not China?” he was reported as saying.
Messi was detained for another two hours before being granted a visa and permitted to pass through.
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