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No Messi or Suarez when Inter Miami visits Whitecaps on Saturday

Inter MIami Lionel Messi - The Canadian Press

Vancouver Whitecaps fans will not have the opportunity to watch global superstar Lionel Messi when Inter Miami comes to town on Saturday. 

Messi as well as fellow stars in Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez will all miss the game in Vancouver. 

The Whitecaps released a statement on Thursday night, noting that food and beverages will be 50 per cent off for what is expected to be a club record crowd. 

“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. Unfortunately, we have no control over who plays for our opponent, and it was important for us to communicate to our fans as soon as possible,“ said Whitecaps CEO Axel Schuster in a statement. 

“We always want our best players going up against our opponent's best players, and facing players of the highest pedigree was especially exciting for our team. We know that there will also be a lot of disappointed fans. 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. We have amazing fans, we have a good team, and Saturday's match is a very important home game for us."

The 36-year-old Messi did make the trip to Montreal for Miami's May 11 game as his team scored three straight goals to battle back from a 2-0 deficit and win 3-2. 

Messi has 10 goals and a league-leading 12 assists over nine starts this season, his second in the MLS. 

Miami sits first in the Eastern Conference with 31 points while Vancouver is seventh in the West with 19 points.