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Tata Martino reveals which upcoming Inter Miami matches Messi will play and when he will rest

Lionel Messi's busy schedule since joining Inter Miami has proven highly fruitful for both the player and the club. Nonetheless, a period of rest was deemed necessary.

The Argentine stood out again on Saturday, this time in his team's 2-0 win over New York Red Bulls in the MLS.

While certain moments during the game saw fans display impatience due to the absence of the South American star from the starting line-up, Coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino stressed that the situation served as a valuable test for the remainder of the squad to play without Messi.

You can now watch Messi in MLS with Apple

He emphasized the importance of being aware that the World Cup champion will be missing from action for at least three matches for the remainder of the year.

"The team's response during the initial hour was extremely positive," Martino noted.

"We enjoyed dominance throughout significant portions of the game, securing the lead which was a crucial accomplishment.

"This situation offered an opportunity to observe the team's performance without Leo in the first match. The response was indeed satisfactory.

"I firmly believe that it's pivotal to appreciate the significance of this victory, as we must adapt to the reality that Leo will be joining his national team.

"His absence will be felt in at least three matches this year, and the same scenario will likely repeat next year. Our understanding should be that the team must retain its reliability when he is not present."

Argentina's national team are set to kick off their World Cup qualifiers with matches scheduled for September 7 and 12.

As the MLS continues its ongoing activities, Messi could miss at least two matches, specifically the fixture against Sporting KC on September 9, and depending on his return, possibly the encounter against Atlanta United on September 16.

Come October, the Albiceleste will play another pair of qualifying matches, facing Paraguay and Peru on October 12 and 17. These matches coincide with the latter stages of the MLS regular season, which conceivably could result in Messi being absent for another match.

MLS: Highlights and goals from New York RB 0-2 Inter MiamiMLS

What matches are in store for Messi?

Following his significant break during the NY Red Bulls match, it is indeed confirmed that Messi will return to the field for the subsequent two matches with Inter Miami, just before his departure to join the Argentine national team.

Inter Miami are scheduled to face Nashville on Wednesday, followed by a match against LAFC on September 3.

"The parties that must reach consensus are the players and the coaching staff," Martino added.

"I fully comprehend the fans' fervor to witness Messi in action. This phenomenon will manifest wherever we go. However, we must steadfastly adhere to our plan, as veering from it could potentially compromise Leo's physical well-being.

"There is no requirement for me to issue an apology to the fans; nonetheless, I appreciate their expectations. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Messi will certainly participate in the upcoming two matches. This is quite likely."

While players typically possess a strong desire to partake in every match, Martino elaborated on how he successfully persuaded Messi to take a break on Saturday.

"Our discussion revolved around the fact that we had three matches slated for the upcoming week, and it was necessary for him to take a rest at some point," Martino explained.

"I felt that this particular match provided an ideal opportunity for such a break. Leo agreed with this perspective.

"Having come through a rigorous period involving several matches throughout the month, the opportunity for him to play 30 minutes today serves as a beneficial component for his recovery."

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