Inter Miami pre-season chaos worsens with fresh injury after Lionel Messi protests

Sergio Busquets suffered an injury in Miami’s game against Vissel Kobe (Image: Getty)

Inter Miami’s pre-season disaster went from bad to worse after midfield star Sergio Busquets was injured in a match against Japanese team Vissel Kobe. The injury came just days after Hong Kong fans vented their fury over Lionel Messi remaining on the bench during a pre-season friendly. 

Barcelona legend Busquets was forced off the pitch after a harsh tackle by Yuya Okaka, which surprisingly didn’t earn him a yellow card. He was replaced by Yannick Bright and the game ended in a 0-0 draw, leading to a penalty shootout.

Despite Lionel Messi being on the field, Inter Miami lost to Vissel Kobe 4-3. However, the Argentine managed to finish the game without worsening an existing injury.

Messi had previously apologised to Hong Kong for missing a game due to his injury, causing widespread disappointment.

Lionel Messi didn’t come off the bench in Hong Kong, leading to fury from the fans in the stadium (Image: Getty)

“The truth is that I feel very good compared to a few days ago,” Messi said after the Vissel Kobe match. “And depending on how that (training) goes. And if I’m honest, I still don’t know if I will be able to or not. But I feel much better and I really want to be able to do it.”

Inter Miami’s 2024 MLS season is set to kick off at the end of the month when they host Real Salt Lake in Florida. But first, they will face Messi’s favourite team, Newell’s Old Boys.

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Inter Miami have been in the spotlight after signing big names like Messi, Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Luis Suarez from Barcelona. But their pre-season has been chaos due to the backlash in Hong Kong and the numerous injuries.

But head coach Tara Martino insisted there was no way Messi would have been able to play on Sunday with his injury. He said: “As I said after that game, we understand the disappointment of the fans in Hong Kong that Leo could not play, but it would have been a huge risk to put him in, even for a few minutes. But he always had the desire, as did our coaching staff, that he would participate in all four games (of the tour). Unfortunately, it did not turn out that way.”

  • An AI tool was used to add an extra layer to the editing process for this story.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1864238/Inter-Miami-pre-season-Lionel-Messi-injury