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Lionel Messi isn't coming to Vancouver, won't play in Whitecaps-Inter Miami match

"We understand [Messi] will not make this trip"
Lionel Messi with the World Cup. The superstar soccer player won't play in the May 25, 2024, game at BC Place stadium in Vancouver.

Fans eagerly awaited Lionel Messi's first game in Vancouver as Inter Miami were scheduled to play the Whitecaps this weekend.

And while the May 25 Major League Soccer match is going forward, Messi, one of the greatest players to ever play the game and one of the most famous athletes ever, won't be playing.

He's not even coming to Vancouver.

“While we haven't received an official update on the availability of Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, and Sergio Busquets for this weekend, we understand they will not make this trip," says Whitecaps COO Axel Schuster in a press release.

He adds that it's unclear why the choice was made, and that the Whitecaps have no control over who Inter Miami fields in a game.

"We know that there will also be a lot of disappointed fans," he adds.

Messi did play in the last Miami game, but there had been concerns about an injury before that.

Inter Miami head coach is scheduled to hold a press conference on Friday, May 24.

Tickets for the game at BC Place were popular and sold out quickly. On the resale market some were running more than $10,000 months ago.

"A club record MLS-era crowd is expected on Saturday and will include the biggest street party in the team’s history," notes the Whitecaps in the press release.

It's unclear if Messi's absence (along with Suarez and Buquets, who are massive stars in their own right) will affect the crowds.

"We remain committed to making this a special experience for everyone. It is still going to be an incredible atmosphere and celebration of soccer for our city," says Schuster. "We have amazing fans, we have a good team, and Saturday's match is a very important home game for us."