Lionel Messi was stopped at the border control of the Beijing airport when he tried to use his Spanish passport instead of the Argentine one.
The 35-year-old arrived in China on a private plane last weekend, where he was joined by his ‘bodyguard’ and several friends, including Argentine star Angel di Maria.
Messi was traveling to join his international teammates ahead of a friendly against Australia on Thursday.
A video circulating on social media shows the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner surrounded by several police officers. Messi seemed to cling to his passport as he spoke to them about it.
The local press in China reported that the problems arose because Messi used the wrong passport.
It is claimed that Messi believed he could travel to Taiwan with his Spanish passport, meaning it was also valid for China.
He was quoted as saying, “Isn’t Taiwan China?”
Messi was delayed for two more hours before he was finally granted a visa and let through.