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Lionel Messi ruled out vs. NYCFC. Will Inter Miami star play Monterrey in Champions Cup?

Lionel Messi ruled out vs. NYCFC. Will Inter Miami star play Monterrey in Champions Cup?

Lionel Messi will not play Saturday for Inter Miami against New York City FC. He continues to deal with a lingering hamstring injury, Miami assistant coach Javi Morales said Friday.

The goal is for him to be ready Wednesday for the team’s first leg of its Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinal against LIGA MX club Monterrey, but it’s not a certainty.

“He is working with the [medical team], but will not be available because we are doing all we can to get him ready for next Wednesday. There is a possibility he will play in that game, that is what we are working for,” Morales said.

Inter Miami has a five-game stretch in the next 15 days, where matches against Monterrey (April 3 and 10), are instrumental to the club’s desire to win its second title of the Messi era, following a Leagues Cup win in August.

Inter Miami will also be without midfielder Federico Redondo, who is out for the next eight weeks with an LCL injury in his left knee.

How to watch Inter Miami vs. New York City FC live stream?

Inter Miami’s match against New York City FC will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET, and broadcast by MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

WATCH: Messi and Inter Miami host NYC FC on Apple TV

TICKETS: See Inter Miami in person at home against NYC FC

SHOP: Get the latest Messi and Inter Miami gear from the MLS Store

Mar 23, 2024; Harrison, New Jersey, USA; A fan holds up a sign for Inter Miami CF forward Lionel Messi (not pictured) before the match against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena.

Could Neymar attend Inter Miami vs. NYCFC game?

Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr. has spent the week in Miami, attending a Heat game, watching some Miami Open tennis with Heat star Jimmy Butler, throwing the opening pitch at the Marlins season opener, and having dinner with Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham.

Could Neymar, Messi’s close friend, attend Saturday’s match between Inter Miami and NYCFC?

Here’s more on Neymar’s dinner with Beckham, and his connection with Messi.

How has Inter Miami fared without Messi?

Inter Miami has played three matches without Messi this season. They won one of them, but have lost the other two.

Messi watched from the bench as Inter Miami lost 3-2 to Montreal FC on March 10.

Messi did not travel, but praised Inter Miami after a 3-1 win over D.C. United on March 16.

And Inter Miami was held scoreless in a 4-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls last Saturday.

How did Messi injury his hamstring?

Messi left with an injured hamstring in the 50th minute of Inter Miami’s Champions Cup round-of-16 win over Nashville SC on March 13. He also favored his hamstring during a March 7 match against Nashville.

The hamstring injury also caused Messi to miss two Argentina friendlies this month: Argentina beat El Salvador 3-0 on March 22 in Philadelphia, and beat Costa Rica 3-1 on March 26 in Los Angeles.

Both matches served as warmups for this summer’s Copa America 2024.

When will Messi retire? Here’s what he said about retirement

Messi has not thought about retirement just yet, and hopes “to continue playing for a while longer” during a podcast released this week, but recorded while he was in Saudi Arabia for Inter Miami’s preseason tour in February.

“I know that (I’ll retire) the moment I feel that I am no longer able to perform, that I’m not enjoying myself, that I’m not helping my teammates,” Messi said on MBC1’s Big Time Podcast.

“I am very self-critical. I know when I am good, when I am bad, when I play well, when I play badly. And when I feel it is time to take that step, I will take it without thinking about age. If I feel good, I will always try to continue competing, because it is what I like and what I know how to do.”

Messi has scored five goals with two assists in his five matches this season with Inter Miami. He has 16 goals with seven assists in 19 total appearances dating back to his team debut last July.

What is Inter Miami’s upcoming schedule?

Here are the next five Inter Miami matches:

•Saturday: Inter Miami vs. New York City FC, 7:30 p.m. ET

•April 3: Inter Miami vs. Monterrey in Champions Cup, 8 p.m. ET

•April 6: Inter Miami vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m. ET

•April 10: Inter Miami at Monterrey in Champions Cup, 10:30 p.m. ET

•April 13: Inter Miami at Sporting Kansas City at Aarowhead Stadium, 8:30 p.m. ET

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Inter Miami vs NYCFC: Will Messi play? Here’s the latest on Messi

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