Lionel Messi Leads Inter Miami CF to Leagues Cup Victory with Unbeaten Streak: Now Faces Busy Schedule Ahead

No one could stop Inter Miami CF and Lionel Messi during Leagues Cup as they put together a remarkable seven-match unbeaten streak to win the tournament on penalties against Nashville SC on Saturday at GEODIS Park. With the exception of his debut, Messi started every game and scored every time, totaling 10 goals to easily win the tournament’s Golden Boot.

The GOAT and the unexpected turnaround he, fellow newcomers Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have sparked since their signings last month must now be protected from any setbacks by the calendar as the Herons pursue yet another trophy on Wednesday night at TQL Stadium (7 pm ET | CBS Sports Golazo, Telemundo).

In the 34 days after Messi and Busquets made their MLS debut in the thrilling 2-1 victory against Cruz Azul on July 21, Miami has played eight matches, including their US Open Cup quarterfinal matchup at MLS-leading FC Cincinnati. In the upcoming weeks, the schedule doesn’t slow down either.

On Saturday, they have a league match against the New York Red Bulls to look forward to. After that, they have six MLS games in September and, assuming they defeat Cincinnati this week, the Open Cup final on September 27. In addition, Messi might play two World Cup qualifiers for Argentina in six days, with the second taking place in the exceptionally high altitude of La Paz, Bolivia, should Messi be called up by Argentina as expected next month.

Given everything, Messi will start against FCC and most likely in every game after that in which he wants to, according to IMCF coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino, who spoke to the media on Monday.

“We only recently discussed it. We eventually decided that he should take a nap if only to recharge. Playing every three or four days is a lot, Martino stated in Spanish. “Wednesday is obviously not going to be that day. You are aware of his temperament and that he enjoys playing and engaging. He can continue to play on the field as long as he doesn’t mention anything to me.

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