Lionel Messi, 36, the “God of Soccer,” was forced to leave the game with an injury and Inter Miami CF cruised to a 4-0 victory.
Inter Miami CF’s 2023 U.S. Major League Soccer (MLS) home match against Toronto FC at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S., on Monday morning (Aug. 21).
Messi started the match in a 5-3-2 formation alongside Joseph Martinez before being replaced by Robert Taylor in the 37th minute.
His former FC Barcelona teammate, left full-back Jordi Alba, also left the field with an injury in the 34th minute.
Neither Messi nor Alba suffered any obvious injuries, but both felt discomfort with apparent lower-body problems, Reuters reported.
Messi had earlier cut inside the right side of the goal area from a cross from the left in the 23rd minute and unleashed an unstoppable right-footed volley, but the ball sailed over the post.
Despite the sudden substitutions of Messi and Alba, Inter Miami held on for the win with goals from Facundon Farias (three minutes into first-half stoppage time), Robert Taylor (ninth minute, 42nd minute) and Benjamin Kremaski (28th minute).
According to Inter Miami head coach Gerardo Martino, Messi and Alba did not play in last Saturday’s 2-5 away loss to Atlanta United due to muscle fatigue.
Inter Miami is trying to manage Messi and Alba’s health and playing time with a busy schedule coming up, including the 2023 U.S. Open Cup Final next Wednesday. 메이저놀이터
After the game, Martino confirmed that Messi was once again suffering from muscle fatigue and that he and Alba would not be available for Sunday’s match against Orlando City.
Inter Miami is 11-1-1 in all competitions since Messi joined the team in mid-July, including 3-1-1 in the regular season. They are 13th out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference with 9 wins, 4 draws and 31 points.