Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

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Lionel Messi, the celebrated Argentine footballer, has been officially sidelined from Inter Miamis squad for the US Open Cup final. AFP/File
Lionel Messi, the celebrated Argentine footballer, has been officially sidelined from Inter Miami’s squad for the US Open Cup final. AFP/File

Lionel Messi, the celebrated Argentine footballer, has been officially sidelined from Inter Miami’s squad for the US Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo on Wednesday. 

The final has got underway.

This decision was confirmed by the team as Messi, who had been nursing an injury, was deemed unfit to play. The injury had raised doubts regarding his participation in the final, following his absence in the team’s recent 1-1 draw against Orlando City.

Messi’s fitness status has been a source of uncertainty since his return from international duty with Argentina earlier this month. During Argentina’s South American World Cup qualifier against Ecuador on September 7, Messi was substituted in the final moments of the match. He subsequently skipped their match against Bolivia five days later. 

The 36-year-old football star also missed a game against Atlanta on September 16 due to reported “muscle fatigue.” Despite his return to play against Toronto four days later, he was substituted after a mere 37 minutes.

Inter Miami further confirmed the absence of Messi’s former Barcelona teammate, Jordi Alba, in their starting line-up released on Wednesday. This double blow puts added pressure on the team for the crucial US Open Cup final match.

The US Open Cup, a historic knockout tournament for both amateur and professional teams, has a long-standing legacy, dating back to 1914, making it the oldest soccer competition in the United States. 

This prestigious event has witnessed fierce competition and remarkable sporting moments throughout its rich history.

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