Messi decision made for Inter Miami vs Atlanta United
The Florida franchise has already shown its worth without their Argentine talisman in the team, but fans had their fingers crossed that he would be ready.
The uncertainty with Lionel Messi was rumbling once again as Friday’s training session got underway ahead Inter Miami’s Major League Soccer match against Atlanta United. First team coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino spoke to the media and suggested that there were serious doubts over the presence of the Argentine star.
“He is fine, but we are still going to wait until the end of training to make a final decision. We will be careful with him because we have a lot of important games in a short span,” Martino explained. “Our idea is not to allow him to get injured or any other player, for that matter, so we will talk on a day-to-day basis and we will see how they feel to know which player is available for each of the matches.”
As we return to MLS action following the international break we already knew that things were far from certain given that Messi did not play in the match between Bolivia and Argentina.
Will Messi play for Inter Miami against Atlanta?
Finally the decision arrived and Tata said that his new superstar would not travel with the team for the Atlanta game. This is clearly a blow as The Herons continue on their unlikely quest to reach a playoff spot but there is still enough talent in the team to pick up another three points.
“Messi is stretching his recovery period after that qualifiers match at the Monumental against Ecuador and he has been left out of the squad,” came the report confirming the news. The thinking is that more time off with get the Barcelona legend into tip-top shape for a run of key games including the final of the US Open Cup.
Can Miami make the playoffs?
Before the FIFA break, Miami secured a somewhat painful win over Sporting Kansas City, and now have to do it again without their new captain on the road. Atlanta already look sure of a playoff spot, sitting 6th in the standings going into the weekend. The Herons remain in the penultimate place although have a game or two in hand on their rivals for the lower playoff positions.
It’s worth noting that although a sporting blow for Miami, many fans will have bought their tickets for the Atlanta game with the expectation that they would see the man that has reinvigorated The Beautiful Game in America. Unfortunately for anyone whose goal was only to see Messi, there are no refunds given if he doesn’t play.