Despite the fact that Lionel Messi is now on the injured list with his club Inter Miami, Argentina has decided to include him on their roster for the upcoming South American World Cup qualifiers.
Messi was not available for Inter’s match against Chicago on Wednesday due to his ongoing fitness issues; since September 3, he has only played for the club for a total of 37 minutes. Inter lost the match 4-1.
In CONMEBOL qualifications for the 2026 World Cup, Argentina will first face Paraguay at home on October 12, and then will make the trip to play Peru five days later.
The 36-year-old player has not participated in Inter’s most recent three games and five of their most recent six, although there is little information available on his current physical condition.
The Argentine head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Gerardo “Tata” Martino, first said that Lionel Messi’s problem was “muscle fatigue,” but he subsequently referred to Messi as having problems due to “scars” from an earlier injury.
Messi, who captained the Argentina side that won the World Cup last year in Qatar, was in the starting lineup and scored the game-winning goal for his nation in a 1-0 victory against Ecuador on September 7 in Buenos Aires.
He made the request for a substitution in the last minutes of that game, and then he did not play in the game that was played five days later in La Paz versus Bolivia. Instead, he stood on the sidelines and watched his teammates play.
Without Messi, the Miami team has not been able to win any of their previous three matches, which has hurt their chances of qualifying for the MLS playoffs.
The game in Chicago on Wednesday was shifted to Soldier Field, which is the home of the NFL team the Chicago Bears. The game attracted a crowd of 62,124 people, many of whom purchased tickets in the hopes of witnessing the seven-time winner of the Ballon d’Or award.
After the game, Martino was questioned about Messi’s fitness in front of Saturday’s game against Cincinnati, and he stated that the Argentine forward was making progress.
“He seems to be making progress towards returning to the field. According to what he said, “we said, we’ll evaluate him… to see if he’s in condition (to play)”.
“The most important thing is he’s leaving his injury behind and slowly discovering his best form… we’ll see what’s best ahead of the next game,” according to him.
Facundo Farias, who plays for the same club as Lionel Messi in Miami and is 21 years old, has been given his first call-up to Argentina’s national team camp.
Alejandro Garnacho, who plays on the flank for Manchester United, has also been selected to be a part of Lionel Scaloni’s team for the forthcoming qualifying matches.