Lionel Messi stopped at Beijing airport and surrounded by border guards over passport problems on way to Argentina camp | The Sun

LIONEL MESSI nearly ended up in hot water with Chinese border guards after using his Spanish passport instead of his Argentinian one.

Messi arrived in Beijing by private jet over the weekend accompanied by his "bodyguard" and a host of star pals including Angel Di Maria.

He was travelling to the country to join his national team camp in preparation for a friendly match when he was stopped over the weekend.

Social media users shared a video of him surrounded by police officers in which he could be seen clutching his passport while talking to colleagues.

Local media claim that issues arose as he was using his Spanish passport instead of his Argentinian one.

Reports then add that he had believed that the fact he could travel to Taiwan on his Spanish passport meant that it was valid for China, and was quoted as saying: "Is Taiwan not China?"


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They also added that he did not have his Argentinian passport with him, which confused local border guards.

It was further claimed that he was delayed for two hours before finally being granted a visa and let through after the problem was resolved.

This trip marks Messi's seventh visit to China.

His previous six include for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, during which he helped a star-studded Argentina team to glory.

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Messi waits with pal Angel Di MariaCredit: AsiaWire

The reigning world champions are set to play against Australia in a friendly match on Thursday at Beijing's Workers' Stadium, beforetravelling south to face Indonesia four days later.

Messi is then expected to take a short break before joining new club Inter Miami in July.

The 35-year-old snubbed interest from Saudi Arabia and former club Barcelona to move to MLS.

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