The eight-time Ballon d'Or winner has been suffering with physical issues in the pre-season with Inter Miami having played very few minutes since their match against Al-Hilal. Messi missed the clash against a Hong Kong XI which provoked quite a bit of controversy and drew anger from fans. However, he managed to play 30 minutes in the Herons' penalty shootout loss against Vissel Kobe in Tokyo.
Martino told the Miami Herald: "I think it was an even game, they played better in the first half, they had opportunities to score and we improved as the game progressed in the second hal. After yesterday’s training session, Leo told me he felt good and we made the decision to put him in for 30 minutes. He was happy after the game because he said he felt comfortable there."
Inter Miami have had a very poor pre-season so far having won just one of six games and that win came against a Hong Kong XI. Their pre-season started with a goalless draw against El Salvador, followed by a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas before their 4-3 and 6-0 losses to Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr. Despite this, they remain bookmakers' favourites to win the MLS this season, thanks to their unreal star power with players like Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets helping out Messi.
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