Lionel Messi, Inter Miami
Lionel Messi has faced Liga MX five times in his career, but only to of those came in competitive games CRISTOBAL HERRERA-ULASHKEVICH/EFE

SEATTLE - The link between Lionel Messi and Mexico is many years old and will write a new chapter on Wednesday. As Inter Miami prepare to face Liga MX team Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinals, Messi could have a chance to keep on adding to his unbeaten record against Mexican clubs.

It's still unknown whether the Argentine star will play in the first leg against Rayados de Monterrey, as he recovers from a muscle injury that has kept him on the sidelines since March 14, when he came out after playing 50 minutes in Inter Miami's 3-1 win over Nashville.

When asked about the progress Messi has made during the last two weeks, Herons' coach Gerardo Martino said the team is still monitoring the injury and won't rush Messi back before he is fully healed. "Even though we have a huge game, we have to think that this is just getting started, there's no need to put the health of our players at risk," Martino said during a press conference before the clash.

Whatever the case might be, it's certain we will see Messi back in action at some point of the two-legged tie. But this isn't the first time the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner has faced a Mexican team during his long and laureated career. If he ends up playing against Rayados, it would be the sixth time the Inter Miami captain faces a Mexican team and, so far, he remains unbeaten with a 3-0-2 W-L-D record.

The first time Messi and a Liga MX team locked horns was at the early stages of his career. In 2006, still a Barcelona player, Messi played Club América in a friendly match between the Spanish giants and the 'Águilas.' He came on at the 62nd minute in a high-scoring game that ended 4-4, although the Argentine did not add his name to the scoresheet that day.

Three years later, Barcelona played another friendly game against a Liga MX giant, this time Chivas being the rival. In front of more than 67,000 fans at the old San Francisco 49ers home, Chivas and Barcelona played to a 1-1 draw with Messi playing the first half.

A few months later, they played another Mexican team at the Club World Cup. In his first competitive match against a Liga MX team, Messi helped his side to beat Atlante by 3-1. The game started with Atlante scoring in the opening five minutes, but Pep Guardiola's team was too much to handle for the "Potros" in the second half. One minute after replacing Yaya Touré, Messi scored his first goal against a Mexican team after sneaking in behind the Atlante defensive unit.

Lionel Messi's goal vs Atlante during the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup semifinals

He would have to wait five more years for another opportunity against Mexican opponents, when Barcelona hosted Club León for the 2014 Joan Gamper Trophy. It was a completely different game to the previous ones, as Barcelona thrashed León 6-0, with the Argentine opening up the score after just three minutes.

Funnily enough, Messi made his debut as an Inter Miami player against Mexican team Cruz Azul. Last Summer, the "Messimania" all around the United States took off thanks to this game. With celebrities like LeBron James and Kim Kardashian in attendance, Messi won the match with a beautiful free kick second before the end of regulation.

Lionel Messi wins the game for Inter Miami thanks to a free kick goal in the 90+4'

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