Messi is back for Inter Miami. Here’s where he stands for Atlanta game

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Inter Miami star Lionel Messi will return to action Wednesday night against Atlanta United, coach Tara Martino said Tuesday. 

Messi’s longtime friends and teammates Luis Suárez and Sergio Busquets will also play. The trio will be in the lineup again after staying home in South Florida and not playing in Inter Miami’s 2-1 win at Vancouver last Saturday. 

Inter Miami has two matches this week, the second is Saturday at home vs. St. Louis City SC, before Messi will join the Argentine national team for Copa América next month. 

Argentina will reportedly train at Inter Miami, so Messi won’t have to go far to reunite with the reigning 2021 Copa América and 2022 World Cup champions. But Messi’s status for Saturday’s match could be up in the air. 

“The idea is to have both games, but first we have to play tomorrow’s game to think about our health,” Martino said. 

“We are clear that Leo plays the game on Saturday, and then he plays with the national team. The good thing about all this is that the Argentine national team decided to base itself here in the USA, especially in Miami, the matches are [in the country] and he doesn’t have to travel so much, so that’s good for him, too.”

How to watch Inter Miami vs. Atlanta live stream 

Inter Miami and Atlanta begin play at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Chase Stadium. The game is available via MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. 

TICKETS: Experience Messi and Inter Miami in person when they host Atlanta United FC

SHOP: Get the latest Messi and Inter Miami team gear from the MLS Store

Messi spends weekend at Inter Miami training, watching his son play 

While Inter Miami received goals from Robert Taylor and Leo Campana to win 2-1 at Vancouver, Messi and Suárez spent the weekend training at Inter Miami and watching their sons play in Inter Miami’s Youth International Cup on the stadium grounds. 

Messi was often seen sitting under shade with Suárez, while many children playing in the tournament vied for his attention as he either walked or rode on a golf cart around Inter Miami’s campus.  

“Well, maybe it is a part that allows him in Miami, in the United States, to be able to transform himself for a few moments into a normal person. And it also shows his commitment to his sons’ club, his commitment to the club, to be the host of this tournament,” Martino said of Messi. “The truth is that in some way these are things that make him very happy because, as I said before, they make him closer to a normal person.” 

What is Messi’s upcoming schedule with Argentina? 

Messi will begin training with Argentina next week, and play in two warm-up matches before Copa America begins on June 9 and 14. Messi and Argentina begin Copa America play on June 20 in Atlanta. 

Argentina’s Copa América warmup matches

∎June 9: Argentina vs. Ecuador, Soldier Field in Chicago, 5:30 p.m. ET

∎June 14: Argentina vs. Guatemala, FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, 7:30 p.m. ET

Argentina’s Copa América group play schedule

Argentina is in Group A with Canada, Chile and Peru.

∎June 20: Argentina vs. Canada, Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, 8 p.m. ET

∎June 25: Argentina vs. Chile, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, 9 p.m. ET

∎June 29: Argentina vs. Peru, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, 8 p.m. ET

Where will Messi, Argentina play if they advance Copa América group stage?  

∎July 4 or 5: If Argentina advances out of the group stage, it will play a quarterfinal matchup in Houston or Arlington, Texas.

∎July 9: If Argentina advances to the Copa América semifinal, it would play at MetLife Stadium again.

∎July 13: The Copa América third-place game will be held at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

∎July 14: The Copa América final will be held at Hard Rock Stadium.

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