MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Hard Rock Stadium won't be shining as brightly Wednesday night without one of the world's soccer stars.
Lionel Messi has been ruled out for FC Barcelona and won't travel to the U.S. for the first of two games against SSC Napoli.
Messi injured his right calf and "withdrew from the session due to discomfort in his right leg," the club said in a statement Monday.
The team was traveling to South Florida on Monday for its Wednesday night match in Miami Gardens. The second game will be played three days later at Michigan Stadium, home of the University of Michigan Wolverines football team.
Messi expressed his disappointment on Instagram.
Tenía ganas de arrancar y lamentablemente tuve un percance en el primer entrenamiento que me va a dejar afuera un tiempito. Les agradezco a todos sus mensajes y las muestras de cariño, quería estar con el equipo y con la gente que nos sigue en USA. Esta vez no podrá ser, pero nos volveremos a ver pronto. Un abrazo a todos.
"I was looking forward to getting started, but unfortunately I have had a setback in my first training session that's going to rule me out for a short while," Messi wrote. "I wanted to be with the team and the fans that follow us in the U.S. This time it's not to be, but we will see each other soon."
FC Barcelona and SSC Napoli will debut their first teams internationally in the LaLiga-Serie A Cup.
Hard Rock Stadium holds the record for the largest crowd for a soccer match in Florida, set in 2015. It was also the site of the first El Clasico in the U.S. in 2017.
FC Barcelona holds the league record for the most Copa del Rey (30) and Supercopa de Espana (13) titles.
SSC Napoli has won two league titles, five Coppa Italias and two Supercoppa Italiana titles.
Copyright 2019 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.