Why Did Messi Leaves Argentina Vs. Ecuador Game Early. Is he injured? Tired?


LAGOS SEPTEMBER 9TH (NEWSRANGERS)-It is extremely rare to see Lionel Messi leave a game before the final whistle, so when he was subbed out in the 88th minute of Argentina’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Ecuador on Thursday night, it made headlines and speculation swirled on social media.

Was Messi injured? Or was the 36-year-old star just tired after playing 11 games in 44 days since joining Inter Miami without a proper offseason to recover from the previous season with Paris Saint-Germain?

There was talk in the Argentine media last week that Messi might just play against Ecuador and skip the next World Cup qualifier Tuesday night on the road against host Bolivia, which is being played at Estadio Hernando Siles in La Paz at an altitude of 11,932 feet. Messi scored the lone goal in Thursday’s win over Ecuador, the tougher opponent of the two.

Ecuador finished fourth in World Cup qualifying in 2022 and Bolivia was ninth, so the thinking might be that Argentina would not miss him as much Tuesday and he could rest before rejoining Inter Miami for its late-season playoff push.

Messi said in a postgame interview Thursday night that he left the game early because he was a bit exhausted.

“At the end, I was a little bit tired,” he said. “Surely it won’t be the last time I come out of games, but I felt very good during the game. It was a tough game, very physical, very challenging, but I felt fine.”

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said Messi felt some discomfort and asked to be subbed.

“He asked to come out; if not I wouldn’t have taken him out,” Argentina coach Scaloni explained after the game. “I don’t know what the issue was, honestly. [Friday] they will evaluate him. If he is fine, he will go to Bolivia and will play Tuesday. If he is not, we’ll see what we do. It’s all very recent.”

Asked about Messi’s status Friday morning, Inter Miami coach Tata Martino said: “Initially, it doesn’t seem like it’s anything significant, just symptoms of being tired. At least that is the report we got after the game. We have to wait until today for more details.”

Inter Miami, without Messi and eight other players on national team duty, will try to extend its 11-game unbeaten streak on Saturday at home against Sporting Kansas City.

Martino said he did not expect Messi to return to the club early from national team duty. He will, however, be back in time for the Sept. 16 road game against Atlanta United.

“It’s too soon to talk about that [Messi coming back early],” Martino said. “I don’t imagine if there is a chance he would play against Bolivia that he would come back.”

Miami Herald

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Posted by on Sep 9 2023. Filed under National, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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