International soccer star Lionel Messi, who recently suffered a leg injury, will not be making the trip to St. Louis next week with the Argentinian national team to play an exhibition match against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
But the game — scheduled to kickoff inside Busch Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Monday — will go on, organizers told the Post-Dispatch.
Messi's absence means the loss of the game's biggest draw. He was considered so important that the contract for the exhibition game required him to play. The only out was for severe injury. Messi, a four-time world soccer player of the year, hurt his leg Sunday during a game for his club team Barcelona. He was expected to be out at least six weeks.
The other condition for the game was that Bosnia qualify for the next year's World Cup. Bosnia managed that last month with a 1-0 win over Lithuania. Argentina qualified for the World Cup in September.
Even without Messi, the rosters of both teams still feature notable players, including Javier Mascherano and Sergio Aguero for Argentina and Edin Dzeko for Bosnia.
This is the second time this year that Busch Stadium has been transformed into a soccer pitch. In May, Manchester City and Chelsea played an exhibition match.
In August, Real Madrid played Inter Milan at the Edward Jones Dome.
Tickets are still available for Monday's game.