David Beckham was ruthlessly booed by 40,000 fuming fans demanding a refund.
The former England captain, now Inter Miami owner, is in Hong Kong for Inter Miami’s pre-season trip to the Far East.
The 40,000 tickets at Hong Kong stadium were snapped up within an hour of going on sale.
However, locals who forked out as much as $700 on tickets expressed their anger because Lionel Messi remained an unused substitute.
The Argentine icon, 36, has been battling a hamstring injury that saw him only play seven minutes in the 6-0 defeat against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr on Friday.
And the World Cup winner – who did take part in a very light open training session – was not risked against a Hong Kong XI.
But that did not go down well with the passionate supporters desperate to get a glimpse of the footballing GOAT.
There were chants of “we want Messi” during the second half as Inter Miami ran out 4-1 winners.
Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba both came off the bench but Messi and Luis Suarez watched the entirety from the sidelines.
The fans – who were told there would be no refunds if Messi did not feature – drowned out Beckham’s address to the crowd with their furious reaction.
Beckham, 48, said on the pitch after full-time: “On behalf of everybody involved in Inter Miami, our club, I would like to say thank you very much for the incredible welcome.
“I have always loved Hong Kong and we look forward to coming back one day to entertain you even more.
“Thank you to the media. Thank you for everyone in the stadium that has turned up tonight and been here for us.
“It means a lot because to see these great players play inspires a lot of young children in this country and around the world.
“I hope one day we will be back to entertain you. Hong Kong, thank you very much. I will see you soon. Thank you.”
But plenty were still seething afterwards – especially after spending hundreds of dollars on tickets and some even travelling from overseas.
As reported by the Daily Mail, one said: “I’ve been waiting almost ten years to see him. This is a rare opportunity to see him, because he might be retiring soon. We are very disappointed.”
Another added: “I flew from Melbourne for this. We waited a long time but he never showed up. I’m really disappointed.”
And a third fumed: “I came for the training and just saw him doing stretches. Messi isn’t a supermodel. People don’t pay just to watch him sit.”
Inter Miami finish their tour of Asia against Vissel Kobe on Wednesday before a final friendly against Messi’s boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys.
The Florida side begin their 2024 MLS campaign at home to Real Salt Lake and then Beckham takes his club to face his former team LA Galaxy.