• The Inter Miami star has been struggling with a scar tissue problem recently
  • And now, Inter Miami have made a call ahead of the US Open Cup final 
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports new

Lionel Messi is not in the squad for Inter Miami’s US Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo in a massive blow to the team moments before kickoff.

The Argentina World Cup winner has been struggling with a scar tissue problem from an old injury to a leg muscle. Miami left it right until the very last possible moment to decide on what role the 36-year-old will have.

But the alarm bells were ringing for Miami fans when the team turned up at the DRV PNK Stadium for the final and Messi was nowhere to be seen.

He later appeared in the stadium to cheer his team on but he was dressed in his own clothes and not in Miami colors.

He took a seat in the stadium alongside his wife Antonela and could only watch on helplessly as Miami struggled greatly without him in the first half, going into the interval 2-0 down.

Miami improved in the second half but Josef Martinez’s 90th minute goal proved to be nothing more than a consolation and the team were beaten 2-1

An Injured Lionel Messi had to watch Inter Miami in the US Open Cup final from US

, meanwhile, returned to the team after the midfielder was also rested for Orlando.

Defender Jordi Alba, who followed Busquets to Miami from Barcelona to reunite with Messi, missed the game injured too.

But all the attention the build-up was on Messi, to the point where Martino admitted to being deliberately evasive over the star’s condition.

‘I have to give info that could change the opponent’s game plan. Why should I give that info if I can keep it to myself?’ said Martino.

‘I know that goes against people’s interests as to buy tickets or not, but we have to prioritize things as they are, and what we want is to win the game.

‘He doesn’t need surgery or anything like that. It’s just a matter of how much time the player needs to rest in order to play the next game.

‘If it wasn’t a final, we wouldn’t take any risks. But because it’s a final, there is a chance we take that risk.’

But in the end, he didn’t. Miami are back in action on Saturday against New York City FC, a game they need to win if they are to make the post-season playoffs.