Tata Martino updates on Lionel Messi’s injury after he came on as a substitute against Vissel Kobe and Inter Miami.
The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner has been dealing with physical problems during the pre-season. Inter Miami has played very few minutes since their match against Al-Hilal.
Messi sat out the clash against a Hong Kong XI, sparking controversy and anger among fans. However, he did manage to play 30 minutes in the Herons’ penalty shootout loss against Vissel Kobe in Tokyo.
Martino said: “I think it was an even game, they played better in the first half, they had opportunities to score and we improved as the game progressed in the second hal. After yesterday’s training session, Messi told me he felt good and we made the decision to put him in for 30 minutes. He was happy after the game because he said he felt comfortable there.”
Inter Miami has had a dismal pre-season, managing to win just one out of six games, and that victory was against a Hong Kong XI.
Their pre-season kicked off with a goalless draw against El Salvador, followed by a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas, and then devastating defeats of 4-3 and 6-0 against Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr.
Despite these setbacks, they are still the bookmakers’ favorites to win the MLS this season. This is largely due to their impressive lineup of star players, including Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Busquets, who are providing support for Messi.
The Herons will have their final friendly match against Messi’s former team, Newell’s Old Boys, before kicking off their MLS campaign against Real Salt Lake on February 21. It remains uncertain whether the Argentine will be fit to start in either of these two matches.