Here’s why Inter Miami won’t rest Lionel Messi against FC Cincinnati

Inter Miami Messi
Lionel Messi patea el balón para marcar un gol junto a José Martínez, del Philadelphia Union, durante el primer tiempo de una semifinal de la Leagues Cup 2023, en Chester, Pensilvania.(Chris Szagola | AP)
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 10:46 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (ENQUIRER) - If you thought FC Cincinnati might catch a break on the Lionel Messi front for Wednesday’s semifinal match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, well, no dice.

Inter Miami CF manager Gerardo “Tato” Martino announced during a Monday news conference that Messi, who scored 10 goals in seven matches for Miami during the now-concluded Leagues Cup tournament, wouldn’t be rested in Wednesday’s match against FC Cincinnati at TQL Stadium.

“That is a conversation we had a few days ago, that he should rest, and recover every 3-4 days, clearly Wednesday will not be that day, but you all know how he is, he likes to play. So, as long as he doesn’t mention anything, he will keep on playing,” Martino said.

Martino divulged this important piece of information while speaking on the subject of rest and recovery for the 36-year-old Messi, who captured his 44th career championship across all competitions when he and Miami beat Nashville SC to win Leagues Cup on Saturday.

Some wondered if Miami might ease off Messi after winning Leagues Cup, which was the first major title in Inter Miami history. By reaching the final, Miami had already guaranteed itself a berth in next year’s CONCACAF Champions Cup, too, so there was some thought the Open Cup and the Champions Cup spot it offers had become less significant.

But that’s obviously not the case, and Miami is two wins away from lifting a second title via the Open Cup even though it sits in last place in the Major League Soccer regular-season standings.

Wednesday’s semifinal match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

This story was written by our media partners at The Cincinnati Enquirer.