Despite his quick successes with Inter Miami CF, Lionel Messi is human, and his head coach, “Tata” Martino, may want to save him a bit towards the end of the season, especially since the upward slope for Major League Soccer ( MLS) playoff qualification seems pretty high.
So some supporters of opposing sides who are hoping to see Messi in action the next time he comes to town may be disappointed. Because apart from MLS, the star player will be called upon to represent his country in international fixtures. For Martino, he has reached the “substantial limit of physics”.
“The important thing is that we value winning and we have to get used to winning in the same way. Leo will miss at least three games, as he, like the others, will be called up by his national team. We know we have to continue winning without him on some occasions”, the coach said, as reported by the daily USA Today.
As part of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, Argentina will take on Ecuador and Bolivia on 7 and 12 September respectively. On its part, Miami will host Nashville on Wednesday, before visiting Los Angeles FC on Sunday. Next, Sporting Kansas City will face Florida on September 9 and Inter travel to Atlanta seven days later. Many of these duels are likely to take place without the veteran player in uniform.
Since making his debut with the Florida club on July 21, the Argentine has been in steady form, scoring 11 goals and six assists in nine games. After leading his team to the League Cup title, he made his official debut in MLS on Saturday, although he started Saturday’s game against the New York Red Bulls on the bench. In the second half, he netted the goal in a 2–0 win in New Jersey.
However, the win is far from getting Miami out of the gloom in the standings, as the team sits in second place in the Eastern Conference with 21 points. Relegated to being 11 points behind the last place that gave access to the playoffs, he had to play 10 games to the end, in addition to the finals of the US Championships, the US Open Cup.