CHICAGO — Lionel Messi scored four times and led his team, Messi and Friends to a 9-6 victory over the Rest of the World in a charity exhibition game.
However, when Messi, who played until the 69th minute left the game, when the score was at 7-6, he was greeted to a mixture of cheers and boos from the 25,000 supporters who gathered at Soldier Field to watch him play.
It is believed the World Player of the Year needed to report for his flight back to Spain.
Several of the fans were very disappointed that the Barcelona forward declined to play in Wednesday’s contest in Los Angeles, which forced the game to be cancelled, following reports that he and his representatives had a dispute with the event promoters.
Another of the superstars who were supposed to be at hand didn’t show up for Saturday’s game either, forcing the promoters to call on nine former Northwestern University players to assist with the making up the rosters.
The promoters had promised to feature up to 35 international stars, but several of the players failed to show.
The highlight of the contest came in the 20th minute, when forward Matt Eliason scored on an impressive overhead kick after cushioning down a pass from Thierry Henry on his chest inside the area.