After Saturday’s loss to Atlanta United, Inter Miami coach Gerardo Martino confirmed that Lionel Messi She was sidelined due to muscle fatigue and stressed that her priority is to prepare for the US Open Cup final at the end of the month.
Messi” He has muscle fatigue and it was very unwise to bring him in for this game,” said ‘Tata’ after United’s 5-2 defeat on United’s pitch, which ended Inter’s chances of qualifying for the North American League (MLS) playoffs. more difficult).
The 36-year-old Argentine star was left on the bench during Argentina’s win over Bolivia in the South American World Cup qualifier in La Paz on Tuesday and remained in Miami this weekend like Spaniard Jordi Alba, who is suffering from similar physical problems.
The decision not to travel “was taken two days before (…) We risked having worse consequences if they came to this game,” Martino said of the former Barcelona fans.
“They will train tomorrow and we will see it day by day. There is no change in the way he will train (Messi). We have no emergencies. “If he is well and confident, he can play, and if that doesn’t happen, he will wait a few more days,” Martino continued. “This defeat hurts us and takes away our chances, but it is not decisive.”
Inter, who are coming off a 12-game unbeaten run since Inter’s signing Messi, missed a great opportunity to climb further towards the playoff zone. With seven games left to play, Inter need to overtake five teams to qualify for the playoffs.
Midway through that journey, on September 27, Inter has a chance to win its second title of the year after the League Cup in August if it beats Houston Dynamo in the final of the US Open Cup, a smaller tournament in American soccer.
“The final is an individual game. “It’s very tempting to go for a title,” Martino admitted, recalling that both he and Messi They joined Inter when the team finished last overall in the MLS.
“We started the race very far back, we won’t give up, but our goal is 27th place,” he emphasized. “Even if we win everything, we’re not sure if we can get into the playoffs.”