MLS: Why is Lionel Messi not playing Today for Inter Miami vs Atlanta United?


Saturday was supposed to be one of the most anticipated games in Atlanta United history. With Messi in town, over 65,000 tickets were sold, with the cheapest seat in the house costing $125.

Those lucky enough to score tickets woke up to some unfortunate news on Saturday: Lionel Messi will not be playing on Saturday.

After missing last weekend’s match for Inter Miami while on international duty in Argentina in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, the 36-year-old superstar was expected to return to the squad for tonight’s game.

Here’s everything we know about why that’s no longer the case and when Messi fans can expect to see him back on the pitch.

Why is Messi not playing today?

The good news for Inter Miami fans is that Messi is not injured.

Early reports suggest that Saturday is a healthy scratch for Messi as he rests for a busy home stretch.

After the game in Atlanta, Inter Miami will play six games in 18 days with the U.S. Open Cup final and five MLS games. Inter Miami then has a week off before playing their final two games of the regular season on October 18 and 21, both against Charlotte FC.

After scoring for Argentina in a World Cup qualifier against Ecuador last Saturday, Messi then sat out last Tuesday in extreme altitude in Bolivia. With Messi missing Saturday’s game against Atlanta, he will have at least 10 full days of rest between games, which should freshen him up for the final stretch.

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