Weigandt, Messi’s teammate in Miami: The teams play Leo like in a final

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Inter Miami CF defender Marcelo “Chelo” Weigandt said he expects a tough game against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday at Chase Stadium, adding that when Lionel Messi is on your team, opponents They treat each match as if it were a final.

“We expect them to play with the same intensity. When we have Leo, all the teams play against us as if it were a final,” Weigandt said. “And we have to play each game as if it were a final to try if we want to achieve what we aspire to. But the team looks good, we are happy and we worked hard throughout the week.

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“They give us ideas and we try to execute them on the field,” Weigandt added in statements to the media before training on Thursday.

Miami last faced the Red Bulls on March 23, falling 4-0 without Messi. The Argentine striker was unable to travel with the team due to a right hamstring injury, leaving coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino dependent on Luis Suárez and Leo Campana.

Messi is available for selection on Saturday and is expected to spend time on the field playing as the number 9.

“We have talked (about Messi playing as number 9) and I think getting Leo back in those spots on the field is a big point for us,” Martino said. “He doesn’t get exhausted coming and going, it’s not that he can’t do it, he can move wherever he wants on the field, but we shouldn’t deprive ourselves of the moment of his participation in the final moments of the play..

“Beyond being the best player in the world, he is a great scorer. That’s why we have to try to find him in different phases of the game. If he participates in every part of our attack, we will have more opportunities.”

Since Messi returned from injury on April 6, he has contributed six goals and four assists, and Miami has not lost a game in which the World Cup winner has played. Off the field, Weigandt said, Messi continually inspires younger players to strive for greatness.

“The truth is that it has been extraordinary (playing with Messi), Leo is very humble and simple. He is a great person, and he congratulates the team well. He speaks to us to inspire us. It is something so nice, that someone so important realizes Every detail of “The group and the club makes us more professional,” said Weigandt, who arrived in Miami on loan from Boca Juniors in March.

“He has taught me to have my feet on the ground. He is a person with whom you can talk and receive advice. He helps. At first you are intimidated, you are embarrassed, but on a day-to-day basis he is incredible.”

Miami leads the Eastern Conference table with 21 points in 11 games.