Concerns over Lionel Messi’s Performance and Fitness at Inter Miami: A Setback or Temporary Hurdle?

2023-09-21 07:07:42

A setback for Lionel Messi? This is the question everyone is asking at Inter Miami because of the Argentine striker’s exit after only 37 minutes during the MLS North American Championship match, on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, against FC Toronto, won 4-0.

Messi appeared rather uncomfortable on the pitch, lacking rhythm, and less incisive than usual in the half hour spent on the pitch. Which pushed the coach of the Florida team, Argentinian “Tata” Martino, to take him out without even waiting for the break. Before the match, the latter had clarified that Messi was suffering from muscle fatigue, which was the reason for not having him lined up against Atlanta (2-5), last Saturday.

After playing twelve matches with Inter Miami in a month and a half, the seven-time Ballon d’Or seems to be marking time physically. In fact, he only played one out of two matches with the Argentina selection during the recent international break. Decisive scorer against Ecuador (1-0) on September 8 in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, the “Fly” followed the match in Bolivia (3-0) from the sidelines four days later.

Jordi Alba also out

The early exit of Lionel Messi against Toronto obviously worries the Inter Miami staff, especially since Jordi Alba also left the field very early (34th minute). “We will assess the situation day by day, but there is no question of fielding Messi if he is not in good condition,” declared “Tata” Martino at the end of the match.

The Argentine number 10 will probably not start in the Florida derby against Orlando City on September 25, to have every chance of being available for the final of the US Open Cup, the States Cup -United, on the 28th, then for the last four matches of the MLS season, decisive for a possible qualification in the play-off.

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