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Inter Miami boss opens up on leaving out Messi against Vancouver Whitecaps

Lionel Messi to miss match against Vancouver Whitecaps. — Reuters/Files

Inter Miami CF manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino on Friday defended his decision to leave out Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Sergio Busquets from the squad for Saturday’s match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

According to ESPN, Martino explained that despite fans’ disappointment, the coaching staff must prioritse the well-being of players.

Speaking to reporters in a press conference, Matino said: “We trained yesterday. When we finished, I conferred with the coaching staff and talked with the players, and at that moment we decided that they would not form part of the team.

“We understand the people’s frustration, especially in wanting to see these players, but it is our job as the coaching staff to make these decisions that are uncomfortable.”

He acknowledged the importance of the players but he also said that “we have to take these measures that are sometimes unpleasant for people. But they are beneficial for the player.”

Messi, 36, is set to join Argentina’s 29-member squad for upcoming friendly matches next month, for their clash with Ecuador and Guatemala before putting the Copa America title on the line, ESPN reported.

Messi’s Inter Miami will return to South Florida after facing the Whitecaps to host Atlanta United on Wednesday and St Louis City on Saturday.

For the second time this month, Miami will play three games in a seven-day period.

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