Inter Miami might win their second trophy of the season on Wednesday. But Lionel Messi won’t.
Miami gaffer Tata Martino kept his cards close to his chest all week, hinting that it might be difficult for Messi to be fit enough to play in Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup final, but not revealing anything until his starting XI dropped less than an hour before kick-off at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
Messi will not play.
The Argentine was not on the team bus when the squad left the hotel to commute to their Lego stadium for a 8:30 p.m. ET kickoff.
It’s the fourth game Messi has missed this month — one coming in the September international window when he wasn’t fit to play for Argentina — because of a unspecified but nagging injury.
Ticket prices secondary markets ranged from $145 to almost $4,000 about an hour before kickoff.
So, if the inaugural Leagues Cup winners do beat Houston to lift the U.S. Open Cup for the first time in club history, there will always be an asterisk when anyone says that ‘Inter Miami won two trophies at the start of the Messi era.’
At least there’s that consolation for all the Messi haters?