Inter Miami’s Preseason Results Leave Fans Stunned 

Since legendary football star Lionel Messi announced he was joining Inter Miami CF to compete in the MLS on June 7, 2023, Miami fans had high hopes for the franchise. After Messi joined Inter Miami, the face of the franchise has completely transformed into something MLS fans had not expected. 

Shortly after the 36-year-old joined the club, his two former teammates at FC Barcelona, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets, signed with Inter Miami the following month. The trio were together once again reminiscing on their time in Barcelona as teammates, but the former Blaugrana players were missing a crucial piece. 

On December 22, 2023, the missing piece would be filled as former Barcelona player Luis Suarez signed a one-year contract with Inter Miami, joining his closest friends and teammates in the Sunshine State. The four former Barca players were unstoppable as they managed to win the Champions League (once), 4 La Liga titles, 4 Copa del Rey titles, 2 Supercopa titles and one UEFA Supercup throughout their time together in Spain. Fans worldwide were eager to see the four former teammates team up again, hoping to clinch the MLS Cup and bring the title home to Miami. 

The 2024 MLS season seems promising for Inter Miami fans as the MLS club has four football greats competing on the team. Yet, Miami’s preseason club friendlies have left fans questioning the club’s abilities. 

On Friday night’s exhibition game against El Salvador on January 19, Miami closed the preseason game in a scoreless draw of 0-0. Throughout the match, Messi had various chances to score and, in the 39th minute, managed to set up his teammate Jordi Alba for a shot, which got blocked by El Salvador’s goalkeeper Mario Gonzalez. In the second half of the club friendly, Inter Miami’s head coach, Gerardo Martino, had the four former Barcelona teammates sit out the remainder of the game. 

Following their scoreless draw against El Salvador, the Miami franchise headed to Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas, to compete against FC Dallas in Miami’s second preseason match on Monday, January 22. 

Three minutes into the match, FC Dallas’ forward Jesús Ferreira scored a goal on Miami’s goalkeeper Drake Callender, starting Dallas off with a 1-0 lead that would be kept for the remainder of the game. Following Ferreira’s goal at the beginning of the match, Miami put up eight shots while Dallas put up three, yet neither team managed to secure a goal. 

For the second preseason game in a row, Inter Miami was unable to score a goal despite the immense amount of talent the team obtained. While Miami’s recent games are preseason games and do not necessarily represent what Miami’s regular season performance will look like, Inter Miami’s future is not looking extremely promising for fans. 

Messi and his teammates will fly to Saudi Arabia next, where they will compete in their third preseason club-friendly game against Cristiano Ronaldo and Al-Nassr on Thursday, February 1. While fans anticipate a Messi-Ronaldo showdown, the showdown may be in jeopardy as Al-Nassr has postponed their last two club friendlies after Ronaldo suffered from an injury.

Al-Nassr was scheduled to compete against Shanghai Shenhua on January 24 and Zhejiang on January 28. Still, the Saudi Arabian team postponed the two games so that fans could see football star Cristiano Ronaldo compete in the matches when he recovers from his injury. The fate of Inter Miami’s game against Al-Nassr has yet to be announced, but fans can expect to be informed about the Messi-Ronaldo showdown within the following week. 

In his fourteen appearances for Inter Miami last season, Messi scored 11 goals for his new team. It will be exciting to see how Messi performs this season now that he is reunited with three of his former Barcelona teammates. Hopefully, the 2024 MLS season will look better for Inter Miami than their first two preseason club friendlies.

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