Inter Miami coach Gerardo Martino expressed his annoyance at the opponent’s fans’ statements regarding Lionel Messi’s absence. The Argentine has been absent from his American club for some time due to injuries, and therefore also missed the Chicago Fire match.
“I understand the expectations in Chicago, just like in other places,” Martino said Thursday. He added: “But if the player is not able to play, he will not be able to play. We cannot allow him to play under any circumstances.”
In the first leg against the Chicago Fire, 36-year-old Messi missed Wednesday due to injury for the fifth time in Inter Miami’s last six matches. Some Chicago Fire fans expressed their dissatisfaction with the absence of the star player.
“It is very strange for a coach to explain to opponents why the best player in the world is not participating,” Martino said. “This only happens because of him and because we are in the United States. The home team’s fans won’t have to worry anywhere else if the opposing team’s best player doesn’t play.”
Earlier today, it was announced that viewers of the match between Chicago Fire and Inter Miami (4-1) could receive compensation because they did not watch Messi play. The host club understands the disappointment of its fans regarding this matter. Season ticket holders can therefore claim a credit of $250 (about €240) for next season.
Messi moved from Paris Saint-Germain to Inter Miami on a free transfer last summer. The striker has attracted many fans to the stadiums since his arrival in the MLS. Due to the huge defeat against Chicago Fire, there is a small chance that Messi will be able to participate in the tournament qualifiers with Inter Miami.
Zombie specialist. Friendly twitter guru. Internet buff. Organizer. Coffee trailblazer. Lifelong problem solver. Certified travel enthusiast. Alcohol geek.