Updated March 14th, 2024 at 12:05 IST

Critical details revealed behind Lionel Messi's early exit during Inter Miami win over Nashville

Tata Martino explains Lionel Messi's 49th-minute substitution during Inter Miami's CONCACAF Champions Cup win against Nashville SC, providing insight of injury.

Reported by: Aryan Suraj Chadha
Lionel Messi playing in Inter Miami vs Vissel Kobe | Image:AP
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Inter Miami won a thrilling CONCACAF Champions Cup encounter 3-1 over Nashville, completing a 5-3 aggregate victory. Luis Suárez scored in the eighth minute, followed by Lionel Messi's stunning goal in the 23rd minute. Nashville's Robert Taylor equalised in the 63rd minute, but Inter Miami was unable to preserve a clean sheet. Nashville's Sam Surridge scored one goal in injury time, but it was insufficient to rescue his team. Inter Miami demonstrated their brilliance with 11 shots and 45% possession, moving to the next round of the tournament.

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Inter Miami might suffer a major blow owing to Lionel Messi’s injury concerns

Inter Miami's head coach, Tata Martino, has disclosed that Lionel Messi was forced off the pitch during their CONCACAF Champions Cup encounter against Nashville SC due to a leg injury.

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Following Inter Miami's excellent 3-1 victory over Nashville SC, which secured a 5-3 aggregate victory, Martino revealed information on Messi's condition. The Argentine superstar, who scored a goal and assisted in the first half of the game, was replaced in the 49th minute due to an injury. Martino voiced concern over Messi's availability for their upcoming match against D.C. United, implying that the ailment may sideline him for the game. Speaking about Lionel Messi, Tata Martino said (via GOAL): 

“He is overloaded on the right posterior [leg]. We don't want to run a risk. We tried to see if he could go for a little longer, but it was bothering him ... I imagine that for Saturday's game (@ DC United) he is not going to be available”

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A hamstring strain has been identified as Lionel Messi's ailment, according to Michelle Kaufman of The Miami Herald, raising questions about his fitness for both club and country in the forthcoming matches.

Messi's injury follows his absence from Inter Miami's previous game against CF Montreal, which coach Tata Martino first said was due to "rest." However, Messi's status as doubtful on the team's injury report just before the game raised questions about a potential shin injury.

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It's interesting to note that Inter Miami hasn't always played well without Messi. When Messi was out last autumn with a "scar tissue flare-up," the squad was awful, losing six games in a row across all competitions. Likewise, the single game they played without Messi in 2024 ended in their solitary defeat in all competitions.

Messi's availability for Inter Miami's next matchup against D.C. United is still unknown. He may not be able to play in the upcoming international break with Argentina due to the severity of the hamstring strain, which is projected to keep him out of the game for at least a week.

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Published March 14th, 2024 at 12:05 IST