Inside MLS New Controversial Rule That Got Lionel Messi Unnerved Vs Montreal


Lionel Messi could not help but express his displeasure before the cameras during Inter Miami’s MLS match against Montreal on Saturday, May 11.

The Herons went into the game top of the MLS Eastern Conference table with 23 points after 12 games. At Montreal, it was a near deadlock as the home side defied the odds to race into a two-goal lead.

Bryce Duke and Jules-Anthony scored in the 22nd and 32nd minutes, respectively to fire the home side into lead. For an MLS table-topper, going down easily at the half-hour was humbling but it was not a tide too heavy for the star-studded Florida-based side to overturn.

However, it would be a long night for the Gerardo Martino-led side when Lionel Messi was hurled off the game with Montreal still leading by two goals.

Messi was not only disappointed about missing a few minutes of the game but on the effect of the newly passed MLS sideline rule.

Based on the new rule, players who need medical attention are immediately jacked off the field to avoid unnecessary delay of action.

Also, as part of the rule, the player must spend at least two minutes on the sideline for optimal medical attention before being allowed back into the field of play.

Messi, who has been a showstopping performer and fans favorite, was at the receiving end of the new rule, and he did not find it funny.

After being attended to by Inter Miami medics, the record-extending Ballon d’Or winner was ready to return to action but could not because he had to allow the two minutes to elapse before taking to the field again.

Frustrated by his delayed return, the footballing sensation could not help but voice out his disapproval of the new rule.

Speaking before the camera, the Argentine footballing genius said;

“These kinds of rules are not good. We are heading in the wrong direction with these kind of rules.”

Messi has been a big influence in the MLS since he joined Inter Miami as a free agent from PSG in 2023. However, it is understood his objections to the new rule will have little or no effect on the decision of the MLS rule-makers.

The rule has been criticized for promoting and encouraging unequal advantage between teams during a match. Teams who have their players hurled off for injuries will have to play for two minutes with fewer players than their opponents.

However, the MLS have insisted it will help prevent time wastage and blot out scenarios of fake injuries, usually used by leading opponents to delay the game, especially in the final minutes.

Lionel Messi later returned to action after his two minutes elapsed and his deputy freekick taker, Matias, was already on the score sheet, scoring a stunning freekick from 50 yards to halve the deficit. Luis Suarez and Cremaschi would strike again to complete the comeback for the Herons who ran out with a 3-2 victory to maintain their grip on top of the MLS Eastern Conference table.


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