• July 24, 2024

Lionel Messi may be hurt. After an uncommon substitution for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, Inter Miami and Argentina are awaiting the results of medical tests.

Inter Miami will be among those sweating on the results of medical tests that Argentina are due to carry out on Lionel Messi.

  • All-time great on target against Ecuador
  • Replaced late on in that contest
  • Has suggested that he needed a rest

 

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WHAT HAPPENED?

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is already guaranteed to miss one MLS outing at club level after heading off with his country on 2026 World Cup qualifying duty. He figured for the current holders of FIFA’s global crown as they edged out Ecuador 1-0 on Thursday – with Messi scoring a stunning 78th-minute free-kick to settle that contest.

 

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WHAT THEY SAID

Messi was then replaced in the 89th minute, in what was a rare substitution call for him. Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni raised injury fears when speaking to the media afterwards, admitting that he replaced Messi as his talismanic captain was “feeling something” and “otherwise I don’t take him off the pitch, that’s obvious”. He added when pressed further on Messi’s fitness: “He asked for the substitution because he felt something. And we’ll see. Tomorrow [Friday], they will conduct medical tests. And if he’s okay, he comes and plays [against Bolivia]. And if he’s not well, we’ll see what we do.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE

Messi offered no indication that he was suffering from a potentially problematic knock when speaking to Telemundo, with the 36-year-old conceding that he needs to get used to having the odd rest. He said: “I was a little tired, so it happened that I went out and surely it won’t be the last time I go out during matches.”

 

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WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Argentina are due to face Bolivia on Tuesday, while Inter Miami will hope to have Messi back for a meeting with Atlanta United on September 16. He has hit 11 goals for them through as many appearances, with his efforts helping to deliver Leagues Cup glory, a place in the U.S. Open Cup final and an unexpected shot at securing a play-off spot in the MLS Eastern Conference.

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