China Vs Messi

EXPLORING THE ONLINE BACKLASH ARGENTINE FOOTBALL STAR LIONEL MESSI RECEIVED FROM CHINESE FANS

Lionel Messi has captured the hearts of fans worldwide with his extraordinary talent, humility, and sportsmanship. However, following a much-anticipated football match in Hong Kong, Messi took to social media to apologise to his angered fans after neglecting to play.


Fans were extremely disappointed when Messi did not appear on the field, but this disappointment transformed into anger when three days later he was off the bench in a match in Japan. Backlash over his Hong Kong no-show spread to mainland social media; some commenters suggested that he preferred Japan to China.


This is not just a minor hiccup, but a significant threat to his carefully crafted public image and the commercial interests that accompany it. The backlash received from Chinese fans has ignited a PR nightmare.


Messi uploaded an apology in Chinese and Spanish onto Weibo, explaining how he had an injury, but this seemed to further fuel the fire. Fans accused him of being “two-faced” and demanded a better explanation and apology – and a refund. Since then, match organisers Tatler Asia have promised a 50% refund.

So, what does this mean for Messi’s image?


Much like a business company, Messi is a brand himself, and has a certain reputation that must be upkept. With all this fire coming at him through social media, his image is getting negatively impacted, and his reputation is being damaged.


At Dragon Eye, we would be able to monitor these negative comments targeted at Messi, allowing his PR team to act and respond accordingly. Our process at Dragon Eye is to:

  • Monitor
  • Analyse
  • Improve

Through these steps, any negative comments or backlash on social media – much like Lionel Messi’s situation – can be carefully observed, allowing brands and businesses to adapt to it.

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