Inter Miami head coach Tata Martino has confirmed that Lionel Messi will need rest in the near future of his MLS career. The Argentine superstar played in all seven of the club’s Leagues Cup fixtures since signing in July. After being introduced as a second-half substitute in the opening game, Messi then started the remaining six matches in the competition. These seven games, all victories for the MLS side, occurred in less than one month.

Messi dominated the tournament with his new team. The 36-year-old star scored in every match and finished as the top scorer of the competition with 10 total goals. Not only did Messi score a ton, but he netted important goals. This includes a late match-winner against Cruz Azul and a tying goal away to FC Dallas to take the match to penalties.

Yedlin handed captain armband for Leagues Cup celebrations

The Argentina international also scored the lone goal in the Leagues Cup final against Nashville as well. After winning the title in a penalty shootout, Messi handed the captain’s armband back over to DeAndre Yedlin for the celebrations. Yedlin was captain of the club prior to Messi’s arrival in July.

Martino told media members on Monday that these kinds of actions are part of what makes Messi so great. “This is not the first time that he has made this type of gesture,” stated Martino. “This is the reason why when people say he is the best player in the world, it is not only because of what he does on pitch during a match.”

Coach hints at rest during MLS matches for Messi

Miami’s head coach then explained that Messi will soon need time off the pitch. However, the star will be available for their U.S. Open Cup matchup with Cincinnati this week. “We said that at some point he would have to rest because of the load of minutes played,” continued Martino. “Clearly, Wednesday is not going to be that day. If he does not tell me he wants to rest, he will continue to play.”

Miami is set to travel to Ohio to face Cincinnati in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals on Wednesday, Aug. 23. The match will start at 7 p.m. ET. It is available to stream on Paramount+, Peacock Premium, and Telemundo. Also, you can watch the game for free on the CBS Sports Golazo Network. The winner of the game moves on to face either Houston Dynamo or Real Salt Lake in the final.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Agencia-MexSport