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‘Tata’ Martino on Messi and Alba: “It’s fatigue, I don’t think they have muscular injuries”

The Argentine coach addressed the media after Wednesday’s win over Toronto and explained why he he withdrew Messi and Jordi Alba from the game in the first half.

Estados UnidosUpdate:
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Jordi Alba #18 of Inter Miami CF celebrates with Lionel Messi #10

After Inter Miami’s valuable three points with a solid 4-0 win over Toronto FC in matchday 33 of MLS 2023 season, head coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino addressed the media post game to offer his analysis on the match. The Argentine was questioned about the decision to take both Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba from the field of play in the first half.

Both former FC Barcelona players had already missed Saturday’s 5-2 defeat at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium with the Argentine stating that their omission last weekend was simply a ‘precautionary measure’.

The former Mexico coach added: I spoke with both of them, and I don’t think there’s anything new and nothing bigger than what they’ve been having. It’s simply fatigue, I don’t think there is a muscle injury and we go day by day […] We have to see the medical report and that will condition our approach.”

Upon being asked about the next few Inter games as the Herons face Orlando City at the Exploria Stadium this weekend before taking on Houston Dynamo on Wednesday the 27th in the US Open Cup final, Martino commented: “ Obviously there is no chance that they will be playing on Sunday, but my thoughts are them being back for the final next week”.

Martino on Messi and Alba

The South American head coach closed his thoughts on the Messi and Alba situation stating: “We saw both players train well ahead of the game and after speaking to the medical team, everything was in place for the footballers to play. If they were younger guys, some may have said ‘the coaching staff put pressure on them’, but we are talking about Messi and Alba .

“If we made them play it is because they were in a position to play and it was probably better to make them play today and not on Sunday. It is clear that if they managed at least 45 or 60 minutes in today’s game that would have served them better for the Open Cup final and now I have to be cautious. Having said all that, after talking to them both, I don’t have the same pessimism that I had when they left the pitch.