Tata Martino gave an update as to how he’ll use Lionel Messi going forward and admitted the veteran’s international commitments will impact plans.
- Martino calls on team to step up
- Messi away on international duty in September
- Absence will certainly be felt
WHAT HAPPENED? Inter Miami returned to MLS action on Saturday, beating New York Red Bulls 2-0 away from home with Messi opening his league account late on. Martino then offered a little insight as to how his side must adapt with the Argentine’s dedication to his national team showing no sign of ending after the World Cup win in December last year.
WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to the club’s official website, Martino said: “We put a lot of value in this win because this [playing with a rotation] is something we need to get used to because Leo is going to join his national team. He’ll miss at least three games this year and next year it will be the same, and we need to understand that when he’s not here the team still needs to provide results.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: It’s somewhat of a pressing issue for Martino and his side to solve, too. Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina return to action on September 8 as they take on Ecuador in a World Cup qualifying match. Inter Miami play just two MLS games between now and then, away to Nashville on August 31 and away to LAFC on September 4.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR MARTINO? Despite having to deal with Messi’s impending international call-up, he will have the 36-year-old available for selection for the game against Nashville on Thursday as he looks to engineer another win on the road.