Lionel Messi (36, Inter Miami) has succumbed to injury. Messi, who is in his mid-30s, may have been overloaded by playing in various matches including A matches.
CNN, a U.S. media outlet, reported on March 21 (KST), “Messi appeared uncomfortable in the match against Toronto FC. Messi returned to the bench and leaned on a chair in disappointment. Inter Miami defeated Toronto FC, but Messi’s condition is unclear.”
Messi also missed last weekend’s game against Atlanta United. At the time, a club representative said that Messi needed to rest due to the number of games he had played since signing with Inter Miami in July.
Inter Miami defeated Toronto FC 4-0 in the 2023 Major League Soccer (MLS) World Cup at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Messi was named to the starting lineup for the match. He was back with the team after training with the A’s in September, but was not fully fit. He did not play the entire first half and was subbed off after 38 minutes on the field.
Messi played against Ecuador during the September A matches and then missed the match against Bolivia. According to Argentine outlet TyC Sports, “Messi complained of back discomfort, which prevented him from playing against Argentina’s Bolivia team, returning to the league and playing against Atlanta United. He went to the bench to avoid a major injury because his back muscles were not feeling well. I requested a substitution ahead of schedule,” the club announced.
Inter Miami’s opponent, Toronto, threatened early in the match with shots on goal. In the 10th minute, Insigne’s right-footed mid-range shot off a Petretta pass went just wide. Messi was active on the ground before being substituted. In the 18th minute, he attempted a low, 안전놀이터 quick left-footed mid-range shot after a direct run. In the 20th minute, he found the back of the Toronto defense with a one-two pass, and soon after, he received a pass near the penalty box and beat two opposing defenders before shooting.
Messi was relentless in his pursuit of Toronto FC. He tried a left-footed shot at the far post, but the ball floated out and he couldn’t find the back of the net. On a free kick, she delivered a precise cross to the players in front of the goal that was saved by the keeper.
Messi complained of pain and was replaced by Robert Taylor in the 38th minute. No specific injury was seen on the replay, but it was an overload in the September A match. Messi’s departure is crucial for Inter Miami as they prepare for the U.S. Open Cup final on Aug. 28.
Even after Messi’s departure, Inter Miami pounced on Toronto. In first-half stoppage time, Farias rattled the net with a volley as he surged forward. The first half ended 1-0 with Miami holding a one-goal lead.
Despite being without Messi, Inter Miami showed a sharp offense and scored another goal. In the ninth minute of the second half, Robert Taylor broke through and fired a low, quick right-footed mid-range shot. It went through the Toronto FC defense and into the corner of the Toronto goal. Romero dived to save it, but it was on course for a goal.