Lionel Messi is not going to be a part of the squad when Argentina plays a pair of friendlies in the United States in the March international break due to injury. The Inter Miami star required a second-half substitution in the club’s CONCACAF Champions Cup win over Nashville. Then, Messi was not a part of the squad when Inter Miami picked up a league win over DC United this past weekend.

According to Inter Miami manager Tata Martino, Messi has a hamstring injury. Fitting the trend of how the club has handled Messi’s injuries, Martino was not overly clear on diagnosing the star. Martino said Messi will be evaluated week by week.

That has now affected Messi’s availability with Argentina. La Albiceleste is playing two friendlies in the United States against two CONCACAF opponents. Originally, Messi was a part of the squad to play in these two friendlies. The first of which is against El Salvador in Philadelphia on March 22. Then, Argentina travels west to Los Angeles to play Costa Rica on March 26. Argentina has not named a replacement in the squad for Messi.

These games are not overly important for Argentina. Due to the nature that they are just friendlies, there is nothing on the line. However, this is one of Argentina’s last opportunities to develop chemistry and togetherness before defending their Copa America title in the summer. Argentina has been on fine form since winning the Copa America in 2021. Not only did Lionel Scaloni’s men win the World Cup in Qatar. Argentina currently leads CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying after six games with five wins and one loss.

Regardless, missing Messi for the pair of friendlies will be a big miss for Argentina.

Missing Argentina friendlies with injury adds to Messi mayhem

Messi’s for games with both Inter Miami and Argentina has been the subject of controversy and discussion of late. Tata Martino said the club will regularly rest Messi to ensure he is available to play throughout the season. With Inter Miami featuring in MLS, the CONCACAF Champions Cup, the Leagues Cup and potentially playoffs, Messi will be spread thin. Also, Argentina will want to have Messi fully available for the Copa America in the United States this summer.

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As stated, Martino has not been overly clear on the status of Messi before games. At the end of last season, Inter Miami refused to shut Messi down for the last few weeks of the season despite an injury. In a way, it is refreshing to see Argentina outwardly say Messi is not going to play. That way, fans will not expect Messi to play when he is not fully fit.

Think back to Inter Miami’s tour of Asia when Messi did not play friendlies in China. Messi was in attendance for the games, but he did not suit up to play in a friendly. That left the organizers in debt as they issued refunds to those patrons who attended the game with the promise of seeing Messi.

Missing these friendlies, and properly announcing Messi’s absence, assures the star can quickly return to fitness for club and country.


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