With fans left questioning whether they’ll see Lionel Messi in action in friendly matches for Inter Miami in the run-up to the Major League Soccer (MLS) upcoming season, the Argentine star’s fans have something to rejoice as the US-based club is “contractually obliged” to field its “best players” in certain fixtures, reported goal.com.
With Inter Miami scheduled to take on El Salvador, FC Dallas, Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr, a Hong Kong Select XI, Vissel Kobe, and Newell’s Old Boys in a busy pre-season timetable, the David Beckham-owned side is looking to manage the workload on players whose physical and mental strength will be tested due to stacked up schedule.
As per Tata Martino — Inter Miami’s head coach — the club is trying to balance how much match time each player gets if the side is subjected to an increased number of matches.
“The idea is for this pre-season to begin with the entire squad. Afterwards, we will see how they are physically, if they will be there or not. But we understand that the contractual part requires the presence of our best players,” Martino said.
“If we do have more games, then what we have to do is balance how much each player participates in each one of them […] We're not concerned about the number of games,” he added.
It is pertinent to know that Messi’s Inter Miami will face Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr in the Riyadh Cup on February 1, and subsequently, will kick off their upcoming MLS season against Real Salt Lake on February 21.