Lionel Messi missed Inter Miami CF’s last match, sparking concern from fans and putting a damper on a team that appeared to be in its best shape ever. Miami lost 1 - 2 against Houston Dynamo, marking the second consecutive US Open Cup win. Through it all, Messi and Jordi Alba, two of the best players in Miami’s roster, were sitting on the bench.
Here’s what we know:
Lionel Messi’s injury
It appears like Messi is dealing with an old injury that doesn’t require surgery but remains undisclosed. This is the fourth match he’s missed, and the most significant one, since it involved a club title. Over the past month, he’s missed three Inter Miami matches and an Argentina World Cup qualifying match.
What has been said of the injury?
Tata Martino, Miami’s coach, has discussed Messi’s injuries. “He doesn’t need surgery or anything like that. It’s just a matter of how much time the player needs to rest in order to play the next game,” he said. He also claims that Messi will “absolutely play before the season is over."
“We will go match by match and see when the medical department will give us the OK for him to play without much risk,” he said after Wednesday’s loss. There’s only five matches left in the season.
How did Inter Miami play without Messi?
While the match was a tight one, Miami seemed tired and didn’t have the availability of some of its best players. "We play all the matches, and in the middle there’s a final,” said Martino. “Again, it seems to me this could have happened. It was logical for it to happen.”
Over the course of the night, Miami had several opportunities for goal but didn’t make an impact. Josef Martinez scored a goal in stoppage time that resulted in the 2 -1 scoreline.