Lionel Messi injury history: Full list of injuries for Inter Miami star from Barcelona, PSG, Argentina

Now 36 years old and in the twilight of his career, Lionel Messi has proven he can still perform close to his best after impressing during his first few months in MLS with Inter Miami.

With age, however, comes greater attention to his match fitness, and his club may well be forced to be particularly cautious with their superstar.

That was evident as Messi, who had already been rested on several occasions, was withdrawn in the 37th minute of Inter Miami’s eventual 4-0 win over Toronto FC on September 20. It was the Argentinian’s first real injury bout with the American club, as he looked frustrated exiting the pitch.

While Inter Miami head coach Gerardo Martino downplayed the injury, calling it “fatigue” and indicated there were no signs of a muscle problem as of yet, it still called into question Messi’s ability to remain fully fit amidst a brutally clogged fixture schedule towards the end of the MLS season.

MORE: Tata Martino must change his approach to give Lionel Messi rest and keep him healthy

Messi would go on to miss the U.S. Open Cup final a week later, signaling larger concerns around Messi’s fitness and his availability for the stretch run of MLS regular season games. He would finally return off the bench on October 7, but could not prevent a 1-0 defeat to FC Cincinnati, which sealed Inter Miami’s elimination from the playoff race.

The turn of the new year saw the Argentine struggle again, this time a muscle problem saw Messi miss the planned Riyadh Season Cup game against Al Nassr and Cristiano Ronaldo, plus a preseason match in Hong Kong. As Inter Miami’s 2024 MLS season is underway, there has been extra scrutiny on the fitness of the league’s undisputed star attraction.

Lionel Messi injury history

Lionel Messi has been incredibly resilient throughout his long and illustrious football journey, but even the most durable players will inevitably suffer their fair share of injuries throughout such a career.

At the beginning of his career, Messi appeared to have issues with his hamstring, especially on his favored left foot, as a number of thigh injuries sidelined him for long stretches during the first five years of his career at Barcelona.

Since the start of 2016, however, he has been exceedingly injury-averse, avoiding serious knocks at an incredible rate and managing to stay fit to log significant minutes for both club and country.

MORE: Latest news on Lionel Messi’s injury after being subbed off vs. Toronto FC

Lionel Messi’s major injuries

This list includes all injuries across Lionel Messi’s career that caused him to miss three or more games. All injury data via Transfermarkt.com, unless specified. Does not include illness, lack of match fitness or rest.

  • Hamstring injury: Wed, Mar. 13, 2024 — TBD (Inter Miami, ?? matches)
  • Adductor injury*: Feb. 1, 2024 — Feb. 7, 2024 (Inter Miami, 2 preseason matches)
  • Scar tissue flare-up: Sep. 21, 2023 — Oct. 6, 2023 (Inter Miami, 4 matches)
  • Calf strain: Oct. 5, 2022 — Oct. 13, 2022 (PSG, 3 matches)
  • Knee injury: Oct. 29, 2021 — Nov. 11, 2021 (PSG, 3 matches)
  • Calf injury: Aug. 5, 2019 — Sep. 16, 2019 (Barcelona, 4 matches — Argentina, 2 matches)
  • Forearm fracture: Oct. 21, 2018 — Nov. 9, 2018 (Barcelona, 5 matches)
  • Adductor tear: Sep. 22, 2016 — Oct. 15, 2016 (Barcelona, 4 matches — Argentina, 2 matches)
  • MCL injury: Sep. 28, 2015 — Nov. 18, 2015 (Barcelona, 9 matches — Argentina, 4 matches)
  • Hamstring tear: Nov. 10, 2013 — Jan. 6, 2014 (Barcelona, 9 matches — Argentina, 2 matches)
  • Hamstring strain: Sep. 28, 2013 — Oct. 18, 2013 (Barcelona, 2 matches — Argentina, 2 matches)
  • Hamstring strain: May 13, 2013 — Jun. 6, 2013 (Barcelona, 3 matches)
  • Hamstring strain: Apr. 3, 2013 — Apr. 22, 2013 (Barcelona, 4 matches)
  • Thigh injury: Mar. 4, 2008 — Apr. 10, 2008 (Barcelona, 8 matches — Argentina, 1 match)
  • Hamstring strain: Dec. 17, 2007 — Jan. 14, 2008 (Barcelona, 6 matches)
  • Foot fracture: Nov. 13, 2006 — Feb. 8, 2007 (Barcelona, 18 matches — Argentina, 1 match)
  • Hamstring tear: Mar. 8, 2006 — May 21, 2006 (Barcelona, 17 matches)

*Confirmed by the player

Lionel Messi’s matches missed by club

All injury data via Transfermarkt.com. Does not include matches missed due to illness, lack of match fitness or rest. Does include national team games missed or friendly matches.

Club Season Games
Missed
Days
Out
Inter Miami 2024
Inter Miami 2023 4 16
PSG 2022/23 4 10
PSG 2021/22 5 20
Barcelona 2020/21 2 12
Barcelona 2019/20 7 48
Barcelona 2018/19 6 25
Barcelona 2017/18 2 8
Barcelona 2016/17 7 26
Barcelona 2015/16 18 75
Barcelona 2014/15 0 2
Barcelona 2013/14 17 83
Barcelona 2012/13 7 43
Barcelona 2011/12 0 0
Barcelona 2010/11 2 7
Barcelona 2009/10 2 8
Barcelona 2008/09 0 0
Barcelona 2007/08 15 63
Barcelona 2006/07 19 87
Barcelona 2005/06 18 84
Barcelona 2004/05 0 0
TOTAL   131 601

Is Lionel Messi playing against DC United?

Following his withdrawal in the 50th minute of the CONCACAF Champions Cup game against Nashville SC on March 13, Tata Martino claimed it’s unlikely that Lionel Messi would play in the weekend league game against D.C. United.

Martino confirmed that Messi is “overloaded” in his right leg, and will need some time to recover.

This now calls into question whether Messi will be fit for duty with the Argentina national team, as the international break is drawing closer. The Albiceleste have friendlies against El Salvador and Costa Rica scheduled for March 22 and March 26, dates which are fast approaching.

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