"It’s a shame" - Sergio Busquets reveals Lionel Messi injury frustration after Inter Miami's 4-1 defeat to Chicago Fire

US Open Cup Soccer
Inter Minai attacker Lionel Messi

Inter Miami midfielder Sergio Busquets has revealed his teammate Lionel Messi's frustration on missing out on the side's 4-1 defeat at Chicago Fire in the MLS on Wednesday (October 4).

Messi, 36, has missed four straight games across competitions since hobbling off injured after 37 minutes in the 4-0 win over Toronto in the MLS on September 20.

In his absence, the Herons are winless - drawing 1-1 at Orlando and 1-1 at home to New York City in the league. They also lost 2-1 to Houston Dynamo at home in the US Open Cup final and the aforementioned loss at Chicago, which has all but doused their slim playoff hopes.

After a goalless first half, Chicago opened the scoring four minutes after the break before Jozef Martinez equalized four minutes later. However, the hosts scored three unanswered goals to sink Tata Martino's side. Busquets said about Messi's absence in the Chicago game (via GOAL):

“The first person who wants Leo to be on the field is Leo. Second is us, his teammates, because we know how important he is for us. It’s a shame, but in the world of football, you can’t control injuries.”

The loss leaves Martino's side trailing ninth-placed Montreal in the last playoff spot by five points with two games remaining. Inter Miami have a game in hand, though.

"A lot of fans came for the first time to see Lionel Messi" - Chicago boss Frank Klopas on Inter Miami attacker

Inter Miami attacker Lionel Messi
Inter Miami attacker Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has hit the ground running at Inter Miami since arriving on a free transfer this summer after a two-season stint at Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup winner has bagged 11 goals and five assists in 12 games across competitions. Beyond his exploits on the field, Messi has almost single-handedly boosted the profile of the MLS and attracted many first-time fans just to catch a glimpse of him.

It was the same at Chicago on Wednesday night, but fans returned disappointed, as Messi wasn't fit enough to take the field. Talking about the Messi mania sweeping the States, Chicago boss Frank Klopas said (as per GOAL):

“We talked about moments like this, opportunities, you have to grab them, and we did. It was sold out months ago. A lot of fans came for the first time to see Lionel Messi. Who doesn’t want to see him? Wherever Messi goes, it’s amazing what he’s done for the league."

Miami boss Tata Martino has hinted that Messi could play again before the season ends.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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