In the 37th minute of Inter Miami CF’s 4-0 victory over Toronto FC on Wednesday, Lionel Messi was replaced due to muscular exhaustion; this occurred just minutes after Jordi Alba, his former Barcelona colleague, also exited the field.
Following the game, Miami coach Gerardo Martino stated that Messi and Alba would both be assessed in the days to come. However, neither player would be available to play against Orlando City on Sunday, raising the possibility that they would be fit for the U.S. Open Cup final against the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday.
“It is highly unlikely that they will be present on Sunday. They won’t go near the field if they are unable to play, even if I know we have a final to play on Wednesday, “said Martino.
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Despite not traveling for Saturday’s 5-2 loss at Atlanta United FC, Messi and Alba, who both started the game, were obviously uncomfortable physically, even if they did not engage in any particularly strong challenges or hobble.
Martino remarked through an interpreter,
“They trained normally, and we felt like they were ready to play.” “It’s neither better nor worse than what they had previously, in my opinion. It’s exhaustion. It is not, in our opinion, a muscular injury. That also comes from a recent talk I had with [Messi]. However, we must exercise caution going forward, and we will examine him over the coming days.”
“After talking to them, I’m less pessimistic than I was when I had to bring them off,” he continued, although he was still concerned about what might occur.
After leaving the pitch, neither player went to the locker room; instead, they headed straight to the bench, where Miami’s Facundo Farías scored a goal shortly after, giving the home club a 1-0 lead at halftime. After Benjamin Cremaschi’s goal in the second half, Robert Taylor scored two incredible goals to seal the three points.
Messi looked energetic right away and missed a fantastic opportunity in the 23rd minute as his close-range far-post volley went over the bar. But fifteen minutes later, it was evident that the Argentine was having difficulty because of a medical problem, and Taylor took his place.
Messi had left the field four minutes earlier than Alba.
Prior to the Miami pair leaving the game, Toronto also made two replacements. In the 12th minute, Victor Vasquez, a former Barcelona youth player, was forced off. Just 14 minutes later, his replacement, Brandon Servania, was assisted off due to what appeared to be a knee injury.
Prior to leaving, Messi appeared to be coping with a leg problem for a few minutes. During play, he was stretching his right leg. Afterwards, he removed his captain’s armband and only waited for the game to end so he could leave. He didn’t even wait to leave the field before taking off his shin guards, dropping his socks, and unlacing his cleats.