Lionel Messi continued to remain absent from Inter Miami’s squad with the MLS club confirming the Argentine superstar won’t turn out against Chicago Fire
The 36-year-old superstar has now missed five of Inter Miami’s last six matches, plus another for Argentina in that span because of what was first called fatigue — by both his club and country — and has evolved from there. The only game he didn’t miss during that stretch was a 37-minute appearance against Toronto on Sept. 20, and he had to leave that match before halftime because of what is believed to be a hamstring issue.
Inter Miami coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino had declined to provide any timetable regarding Messi when he spoke with reporters before the practice session. Messi has been listed as day-to-day for much of the past month and barely has played in that span.
After Thursday, the team will have only three MLS matches remaining. And Messi’s status for them remains a mystery, even as some fans pay hundreds of dollars — or more — to attend a match with hopes of seeing him play.
Many fans on social media have responded to posts from the team with outrage over the lack of transparency about Messi’s status. “Post the squad and don’t fool your own fans. Have some shame.” and “Can y’all be clear about what’s going on with Messi” were some comments under Inter Miami’s social media posts.
Messi has 11 goals in 12 matches with Inter Miami this season. Seven of those matches were on the team’s run to win its first-ever trophy by claiming the Leagues Cup championship — the irony of that run being that it prompted concerns over how much Messi was being asked to play in a relatively short span after joining his new club. He has appeared in four MLS matches and one U.S. Open Cup semifinal.
Since his signing, entering Saturday, Inter Miami has outscored opponents 29-12 when Messi is on the field, 12-10 when he is not.