Lionel Messi's Brilliant Performances for Inter Miami Raise Eyebrows

21:31 26.08.2023

Lionel Messi's absence from the starting lineup for Inter Miami's highly anticipated match against the Red Bulls sent shockwaves through the New York-area soccer community. Fans who had paid exorbitant amounts to witness Messi's MLS regular-season debut were left disappointed and questioning whether they would get to see the international superstar in action. Messi had played a grueling 120 minutes in Miami's victory over Cincinnati FC in the US Open Cup semifinals just a few days prior, leading manager Tata Martino to consider resting the 36-year-old forward for Saturday's game.

Miami's recent success in cup play had been largely attributed to Messi's incredible performances on the field. Since his arrival from Paris Saint-Germain in July, Messi had scored 10 goals and provided three assists in just eight games, including an impressive performance in Cincinnati where he played the entire match. This workload had raised concerns about the physical toll it was taking on Messi and other players, leading Martino to contemplate implementing load management strategies similar to those used in the NBA.

Martino, however, made it clear that he would not be swayed by external pressures or expectations when making decisions about Messi's playing time. He emphasized that his main concern was the player's well-being and ability to perform at his best. Martino also acknowledged that Messi would miss games in the future to play for Argentina, the reigning World Cup champions.

The uncertainty surrounding Messi's availability for the match against the Red Bulls created a sense of anticipation and disappointment among fans. The match, which was set to be streamed on Apple TV and even shown on a large screen in Times Square, had garnered significant attention and ticket prices had skyrocketed. Despite the uncertainty, the Red Bulls remained focused on their own game plan, whether or not Messi would be on the field.

Messi's impact on Inter Miami since his arrival had been nothing short of extraordinary. The team, previously in last place in the Eastern Conference, had won eight consecutive matches in cup play, including the Leagues Cup trophy. Messi's goal-scoring prowess had revitalized the team and led them to the brink of a playoff position. However, Martino acknowledged that resting Messi was inevitable and necessary for the long-term success of the team.

As the match approached, it remained unclear whether Messi would make an appearance. The frenzy surrounding his arrival had made New Jersey the center of the soccer universe, and fans eagerly awaited news of his inclusion in the starting lineup. Regardless of his status, Messi's impact on Inter Miami and his role as one of the greatest players of all time was undeniable.

/ Saturday, August 26, 2023, 9:31 PM /

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