Fans of the beautiful game may be disappointed to hear that Lionel Messi may not play in the next international friendlies for Argentina.

After their match against El Salvador on March 23, Argentina will face Costa Rica four days later, on March 26.

After suffering a muscular injury, the Argentine missed Inter Miami’s most recent Major League Soccer encounter over DC United. Because of this, his availability for the Albiceleste’s March FIFA window trip to the US is now seriously in doubt.

Local media and fans alike assume that the Albiceleste captain will not play in the US tour, despite the Argentine Football Association (AFA) not publicly announcing anything.

These matches will serve as warmups for the next Copa America, in which Argentina will defend the title it won in Brazil in 2021.

Argentinean fans were hoping to see Messi in action soon. However, Diario Ole, an Argentine sports publication, reports that he may miss subsequent matches, so the team may rest him and hope he makes a complete recovery.

In addition, Gaston Edul of TyC Sports confirmed that Messi’s injury will prevent him from participating in the friendlies. Not much is known about the superstar’s plans for the two matches; he may remain in Miami or go with his Argentine teammates.

Update on Messi’s injury status
Update on Messi’s injury status

Update on Messi’s injury status

What did Tata Martino say?

On April 3 and 10, Inter Miami will play Monterrey in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup. Inter Miami coach Tata Martino has said that he wants Messi ready to play for Inter Miami.

 “We’ll continuously evaluate what he’s doing. The objective is for him to arrive to be able to play in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup. We don’t want to take a risk”, he said.

“The injury, beyond today’s absence, needs to be managed on a week-to-week basis. We take advantage of having complete weeks, and we will be evaluating it continuously.

As for the national team issue, it seems to me that it is up to the people from the national team to speak.”

How many games will Messi miss next?

Messi sat out a second straight Inter Miami encounter during the 2024 Major League Soccer regular season.

The 36-year-old limped off the field in the 50th minute of Wednesday’s last 16 CONCACAF Champions Cup match against Nashville.

With his hamstring in particular, he struggled on March 7’s first of two games versus Nashville.

Also, according to Martino, Messi’s groin issue that sidelined him in February’s Inter Miami preseason match in Hong Kong is distinct from his current hamstring problem.

The March 23 match between the Herons and the New York Red Bulls will also be without Messi.

This match takes place amid the FIFA international window. What sets MLS apart from other top-tier professional leagues is that they continue to arrange games throughout it.

For rest reasons, Messi may also sit out or play a restricted role in Inter Miami’s March 30 home match against New York City. Once the Champions Cup quarterfinals conclude, Tata Martino’s side will play in two more MLS regular-season games.

Photo credit: IMAGO / SOPA Images.