Lionel Messi has completely transformed Inter Miami ever since he made his debut with them. Scoring goals for fun, the Argentine has led the team to be unbeaten in all games since his arrival and has even delivered a trophy in the form of the Leagues Cup. It came to a point, where it seemed that Messi alone was running the team.
Now that Messi is on international duty with Argentina, many thought that the team which was so dependent on Messi, would have trouble winning. Instead, the Herons showed that they were still able to hold their own without Messi.
Inter Miami beat Sporting KC without Lionel Messi
Inter Miami hosted Sporting Kansas yesterday in what was the first match without Lionel Messi since his arrival. Expectations were that Miami would struggle, even though they had two world class veterans in Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.
The game started badly for the hosts when Sporting KC opened the scoring in the 9th minute. But Inter Miami found a hero in Leonardo Campana who first equalized through a penalty in the 25th minute and got the lead in the 45th minute.
Inter Miami defeat Sporting KC 3-2 without Messi and extend their unbeaten streak to 12 games 🙌 pic.twitter.com/DJU2B8ULNq— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 10, 2023
Miami then grabbed their third goal in the 60th minute, when some quick thinking from Sergio Busquets led to a Facundo Farias goal. Sporting KC will get a second goal in the 78th minute, though it will not be enough to turn things around. The game eventually ended 3-2, with Inter Miami continuing their unbeaten streak which is now at 12 games.
The Herons are currently in 14th position in the MLS Eastern Conference, but their recent form suggests that they will be able to get into a playoff spot. There is only six points remaining between them and the playoff spots.
When will Lionel Messi return to Inter Miami squad?
While Miami got a well-deserved win today, fans will still be waiting for Lionel Messi to return. After all his arrival was what sparked the team to become unstoppable.
Messi is currently on international duty with Argentina, for the World Cup qualifier matches for the 2026 World Cup. Messi already featured in the first game against Ecuador, scoring the only goal in the match through a brilliant free kick.
The team and Messi will next travel to Bolivia where they will play against them on September 13. After that, the players can return to club duty, as the international break will be over. Inter Miami’s next match is against Atlanta United on September 17. While there is enough time for Messi to return to the squad, his participation in the match is unlikely as Messi would not want to play again with such little recovery time.
Furthermore, according to GOAL, the World Cup winner may have incurred an injury as he was substituted in the 89th minute of the last match. Manager Lionel Scaloni did confirm there was an injury scare, as did the player himself.
While there is a low possibility of the Argentine returning to the team, he may still manage to overcome the odds. Till then, Inter Miami will have to plan ahead to make sure their winning run doesn’t get disrupted when they play against Atlanta.