Lionel Messi couldn’t have asked for a better start to life in the US. The 36-year-old has yet to lose a game with Inter Miami, having helped Gerardo Martino‘s side win the Leagues Cup and reach the US Open Cup final before scoring on his MLS debut.

Needless to say, the Argentine superstar plays a pivotal role for the Herons, who started to string good results together only when Leo joined the team. Therefore, having to play a few games without him will be a huge challenge.

It’s something we have to get accustomed to. He’s going to miss at least 3 games — he’s going to get called up by his national team — & we need to keep winning,” Martino told the media after the win over New York Red Bulls, via Tom Bogert.

Martino says Messi will miss at least 3 MLS games with Inter Miami

According to Martino, Lionel Messi will miss three MLS games with Inter Miami while he represents the Argentinian national team in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

The 7x Ballon d’Or winner would be out during the September international break, in which Argentina will face Ecuador on Sept. 7 and Bolivia on Sept. 12. That means Messi could miss the game vs. Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 9 and maybe the Atlanta United fixture on Sept. 16.

Messi could also miss the final stretch of the 2023 MLS regular season, since La Albiceleste will take on Paraguay and Peru in October. Therefore, he could be unavailable for the games against Cincinnati and Charlotte FC.