Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami Couldn’t Make It To The MLS Playoffs

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    Inter Miami’s hopes of playing in the MLS playoffs have been shattered, as Lionel Messi couldn’t guide his team to a must-needed win over FC Cincinnati.

    The Herons lost to FC Cincinnati 1-0 at their home turf, the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, United States Of America.

    Lionel Messi was introduced in the 55th minute of the game, replacing defender Tomas Aviles.

    However, an Argentine in Alvaro Barreal buried the dreams of Inter Miami, in their pursuit of making it to the MLS playoffs.

    Lionel Messi in the MLS playoffs
    Inter Miami couldn’t make it to the 2024 MLS Playoffs

    Barreal scored a brilliant goal in the 78th minute, to hand Messi his first taste of defeat in the colors of Inter Miami.

    The Herons have amassed just 33 points this season, winning 9 games, drawing 6, and losing a whooping 17 matches.

    Tata Martino’s side looked poised to sneak into playoff qualification spot in the Eastern Conference, following the arrival of Lionel Messi.

    Lionel Messi couldn’t guide Inter Miami to the MLS playoffs

    However, given their poor form in recent matches, their fate became slim, and it ultimately ended on Sunday, October 8, 2023.

    Lionel Messi returned to action with Inter Miami for the first time since September 20, 2023, after battling a muscle injury.

    He was absent from the Heron’s draw to Orlando City, their defeat to Houston Dynamo, their draw to New York City FC, and their subsequent defeat against Chicago Fire.

    The mercurial one couldn’t convert a handful of chances he received after coming on against FC Cincinnati, after coming on in the 55th minute of the game.

    However, he can be content with the season he has had with Inter Miami, having led the club to the Leagues Cup title on August 20, 2023.

    Lionel Messi guided his team to the crown, defeating Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Nashville SC in the final, 9-10 on penalties, after both sides played out a 1-1 draw in regulation time.

    The Miami-based club could have won 2 trophies from the season, but they lost the US Open Cup final to Houston Dynamo.

    Inter Miami 2023 MLS season

    Inter Miami’s 2023 MLS season ends in a fortnight, as they play in back-to-back fixtures against 12th-place Charlotte FC on October 19, and October 21, 2023.

    Lionel Messi in the MLS playoffs
    The Herons have two more matches before they call it a wrap for the 2023 MLS season

    Meanwhile, their star man Lionel Messi has been linked with a potential move to Barcelona in the January transfer window.

    It has been reported that he wants to spend his break at his former club Barcelona, given the fact that Inter Miami wouldn’t be playing in the MLS playoffs.

    Messi joined Inter Miami on July 15, 2023, following the expiration of his 2-season stay at Paris Saint Germain.

    He has scored 11 goals and provided 5 assists in 13 appearances for Inter Miami across all competitions.

    Spending his break at Barcelona could help him relive some nostalgia and it should also help to keep him in top shape ahead of the 2024 MLS season.

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