Alba Rallies for Showdown in Miami as MLS Icon Messi Prepares to Defend Copa America Title

Argentina, with Lionel Messi at the helm, will embark on their Copa America defense this month, consequently sidelining Inter Miami as they lose their marquee striker in MLS.

Lionel Messi departs for Copa America duties after dazzling the MLS, urging Inter Miami, under Jordi Alba’s encouragement, to hold the fort until his return.

Breaking MLS records, Messi became the fastest to reach 25 goal contributions, accomplishing this feat in only 12 games, a record previously held by Carlos Vela.

In a recent nail-biter against St. Louis City, which ended 3-3, Messi found the net once more. Meanwhile, Alba—a critical playmaker—clinched a crucial equalizer, ensuring the spoils were shared.

With Messi absent, Coach Gerardo Martino faces the challenge of directing the team without its star, as they brace for the forward’s temporary exit.

“It’s tough missing a player of his caliber, but we’re set to press on and make our presence felt,” Alba remarked about tackling games without Messi.

“He’s crucial for us, yet while he competes in Copa America, we’re rooting for him and look forward to his return, hopefully post-final. Meanwhile, we battle on,” he added.

The 2024 Copa America stretches from June 20 to July 14. Inter might also miss players to the approaching Olympic Games in Paris.

Despite these challenges, Messi departs with good luck wishes from Miami as he continues to don the Argentine colors.

Coach Martino highlighted, “In today’s clash, Leo, along with Jordi, spearheaded our striking efforts. He persistently crafted opportunities and executed admirably.”

Argentina preps with friendlies against Ecuador and Guatemala before their first Copa fixture against Canada on June 21.

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