Lionel Messi is not ready to take a break just yet.
Messi coach Gerardo Martino confirmed today, Monday, that Messi, after Inter Miami’s impressive run to win the League Cup this month, is scheduled to start Wednesday in the semi-finals of the US Open Cup for the team.
Wednesday’s game against FC Cincinnati will be Miami’s sixth in the last 22 days.
“We said that at some point he will have to rest because of the load of minutes he has played,” Martino said. via ESPN. “Obviously Wednesday won’t be that day. If he doesn’t tell me he wants to rest, he’ll keep playing.”
While there is some concern that the workload could become an issue for the 36-year-old superstar, Miami have no plans to rest Messi until after Wednesday’s game at the earliest.
Messi has completely dominated since joining Inter Miami this summer. He scored his 10th goal in just seven games for the club in a win over Nashville on Saturday. Winning the League Cup was Inter Miami’s first title of any kind and was a huge turnaround for the worst club in Major League Soccer.
“We didn’t think we would be able to compete in this tournament because our team was still under construction,” said Martino. via ESPN. “But, well, we ended up competing and winning, and that made us very happy and hopeful for what’s to come.”
FC Cincinnati hosts Miami on Wednesday, and the winner of that game will face either Real Salt Lake or the Houston Dynamo in the championship next month.
After Wednesday’s game, Messi will finally make his MLS debut when Miami take on the New York Red Bulls on Saturday. The team will cap off the month with a rematch against Nashville next week.
Although Miami sits last in the MLS Eastern standings, with only 18 points in 22 games, the club has The second best odds of winning the MLS Cup With 12 games remaining in the regular season.
While the Argentine superstar will almost certainly be resting at some point in the near future, he’s looking perfectly fine so far in Miami. And if the club is going to be truly successful down the stretch, Messi will have to have it at its core.