Messi, Suárez doubtful as Miami host Montreal


Lionel Messi could be left out of Inter Miami’s starting lineup for the first time this season when the team hosts CF Montreal on Sunday.

The 36-year-old Argentina star has played every minute of Miami’s three MLS matches so far in 2024, as well as in its Concacaf Champions League draw at Nashville SC on Thursday, but assistant coach Javier Morales suggested he could be given a rest ahead of the return leg against Nashville.

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“We all know Leo and he is a player who wants to play every game,” Morales said during a media availability Saturday. “I think we will have a conversation with him, see how he feels, see how he is and try to decide what is best for him because he has played 90 minutes every game and we will make the best decision thinking about the future.”

Messi scored to help Miami rescue a 2-2 draw against Nashville but also suffered a hard tackle on his shin late in the game. Morales said it was just a “knock” and was not a factor in the decision of whether he will play Sunday, though Messi was later officially listed as questionable with a shin issue on MLS’ player status report.

Luis Suárez, who scored Miami’s other goal against Nashville, finds himself in a similar position to Messi having also started all four games this season. And the 37-year-old could also be in line for a rest against Montreal.

“Luis is fine, he has played all the games and scored two goals in the last home game and one goal [on Thursday],” Morales said. “The injury is fine, and he is fit to play.

“But what we talked about just now, both Luis, Leo, all the players, have been playing a lot of minutes, especially in this stretch of matches, and we have to manage it the best we can because it’s a long season and we’re just starting. We can’t do anything crazy. Same as Leo, we will talk to Luis and see what is best for the team.

While Morales was non-committal on his lineup, another former Barcelona player, Jordi Alba, looks set to return to the team after overcoming an illness that kept him out against Nashville.

Miami will host Nashville in the return leg of the Concacaf Champions Cup round-of-16-tie on Wednesday.

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