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Photo/graphic credit: Inter Miami CF Media
OPINION | Why is Messi not playing against the Whitecaps?

Why on earth is Lionel Messi not facing the Vancouver Whitecaps this Saturday?

The answer is pretty simple: Rest.

No, it's not just so he wouldn't miss his son's youth cup.

Inter Miami have 3 games coming up in these next 7 days, including a mid-week league match against Atlanta at home.

It's clear that there's 0 chance Messi plays the full 90 minutes in all 3 matches. At most, he'd probably be a substitute appearance in at least one of those. But no, he and the club decided it was better for him to stay home instead of travelling to British Columbia with the rest of the team.

Leo is 36, he's been playing lots of games this year, and most importantly, he has a big tournament with Argentina coming up in under a month. You know he wouldn't want to miss that. National team over everything.

Turf may have also affected his decision. The Vancouver Whitecaps are one of the 6 clubs in MLS to have turf pitches. While yes, Messi did play in turf this year (against New England where he scored 2 goals and even grabbed an assist), playing in such pitch while also having 2 other games in the next 6 days is not ideal.

Now that we've got that out of the way, my opinion...

Are the Whitecaps fans right to be mad?
Of course not, players don't have to play every match, and it's never confirmed they will play a match until the referee blows his whistle for the first time in the game. Everyone should know that by now, especially if you're going to pay over $300 for a ticket.

Whose fault is it?
No one. It sucks for the fans that bought the expensive tickets, but they should've known this could've happened.

Whitecaps don't have the fault for this either, they can't control who plays in the other teams. They also never said Messi would play.

I've also seen Inter Miami getting the blame. Why should a club have the fault for not wanting to play one of their players in a match? This is literally like in any other game. Sometimes, coaches decide it's best for a player to rest, either because of the congested schedule, or for some other reason. It's not the first time Messi has been rested when he didn't have an injury or anything.

Anyways, that's all for my rant... Next time you buy an expensive ticket, remember that players don't have to play every match.

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