Is Lionel Messi playing today? Latest on Inter Miami star’s status for El Salvador preseason friendly

Lionel Messi’s club Inter Miami begins their 2024 global preseason tour with a friendly against El Salvador in the Caribbean nation on Saturday.

Inter Miami’s preseason tour will see them travel more than 23,000 miles around the world, visiting El Salvador, Hong Kong, Japan, and Saudi Arabia before finishing the trip domestically in Dallas.

After taking the last two months off, Messi is in the squad for the preseason tour, along with other Inter Miami superstars including new signing Luis Suarez.

The 36-year-old was his usual brilliant self last season after joining the MLS club, but suffered an injury down the end of the season, which brought into question his ability to stay fit across a full campaign’s crowded fixture list. With his first complete season with Inter Miami nearing closer, the conversation will be about how to manage his minutes to keep him fit for the most important fixtures.

Fans can live stream the friendly against El Salvador free in English on or in Spanish on

MORE: Full Inter Miami preseason schedule prior to 2024 MLS season

Will Lionel Messi play for Inter Miami in friendly vs El Salvador?

Lionel Messi is in the Inter Miami squad for the friendly against El Salvador on Saturday, but it’s highly unlikely that he will start the match.

With Messi and his teammates just returning from their offseason break, they will almost surely be eased into full match action, more than likely coming off the bench to begin the preseason schedule.

The same will surely be true for Inter Miami’s other aging stars like Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, as well as new signing Luis Suarez.

See also  Luis Suarez joins Inter Miami: Contract, salary, trophies as ex-Barcelona star completes Lionel Messi MLS reunion

“We have a responsibility to make sure the fans feel well represented on the field when our big stars aren’t playing,” said Inter Miami manager Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino prior to the start of preseason.

“If the fans know that for different reasons Leo [Messi] won’t be there, or Busi [Sergio Busquets] won’t be there, or Jordi [Alba], but we will have a very competitive team, that is an important message.”

Inter Miami squad for El Salvador friendly

All Inter Miami’s top stars are officially in their squad for the friendly against El Salvador, but will need time to ramp up into full match fitness after nearly two months off.

First-choice goalkeeper Drake Callender is notably absent as he takes part in USMNT January camp, potentially starting in the friendly against Slovenia on Saturday.

Also absent is the club’s most recent offseason signing, defender Nico Freire who joined from Brazilian club Palmeiras just days ago, too soon to make the trip with the rest of the team.

Pos Name Age Nationality
GK CJ Dos Santos 23 USA/Portugal
GK Cole Jensen 22 USA
DEF Jordi Alba 34 Spain
DEF Noah Allen 19 USA
DEF Tomas Aviles 19 Argentina
DEF Sergii Kryvtsov 32 Ukraine
DEF Christopher McVey 26 USA/Sweden
DEF Ryan Sailor 25 USA
DEF DeAndre Yedlin 30 USA
MID Sergio Busquets 35 Spain
MID Benjamin Cremaschi 18 USA/Argentina
MID Facundo Farias 21 Argentina
MID Gregore 29 Brazil
MID Julian Gressel 30 USA
MID David Ruiz 19 Honduras
MID Lawson Sunderland 22 USA/Germany
MID Robert Taylor 29 Finland
FWD Leonardo Campana 23 Ecuador
FWD Lionel Messi 36 Argentina
FWD Luis Suarez 36 Uruguay
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