Mourinho acknowledges Messi’s talent as Inter Miami player faces allegations of dishonesty and double standards

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Jose Mourinho has admitted that he dreams of having managed Lionel Messi, who continues to be caught up in controversy over missing an Inter Miami friendly in Hong Kong.

Mourinho has been a legendary coach throughout the period Messi has spent at the top of world football, yet the Portuguese has never had the opportunity to manage an eight-time Ballon d’Or winner who is seeing his career out at Inter Miami.

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Out of work after being sacked by Roma, Mourinho previously enjoyed some legendary duels with Messi’s Barcelona when he was in the dugout at Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, yet he never had the pleasure of coaching the Argentine himself.

And that is something that he 61-year-old, who is one of the favourites to return to Chelsea as Mauricio Pochettino’s replacement, regrets.

Asked if there are players he would liked to have coached during his career, he responded: “An example is Messi.

“He doesn’t need to be coached. Who can say: ‘I was Messi’s coach?’

“It seems absurd to me because he knows everything and he was born with everything. Maybe he can teach you things.

“It would just be to say that I had the honour of having him in the team.”

Messi’s Hong Kong controversy resolved?

Messi has been embroiled in controversy this week over a friendly match that took place in Hong Kong between Inter Miami and a Hong Kong XI that he was slated to appear in but never did so because of injury.

It led to angry supporters jeering David Beckham while his appearance in Japan during a friendly with Vissel Kobe a few days later sparked further hysteria.

Hong Kong lawmaker Regina Ip said: “Hong Kong people hate Messi, Inter Miami and the black hand behind them for the deliberate and calculated snub.

“Messi should never be allowed to return to Hong Kong. His lies and hypocrisy are disgusting.”

The South China Morning Post has confirmed on Friday that fans are set to receive a 50% refund by mid-March on their tickets.

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