Lionel Messi’s Major League Soccer (MLS) journey with Inter Miami had a remarkable start — like something out of a fairy tale.
On Saturday, it ended with a not-so-good result, losing 1-0 to Charlotte FC at the Bank of America Stadium. It’s worth noting that Miami had already eliminated themselves from playoff contention prior to this game.
But this defeat to Charlotte had significant implications and secured Charlotte FC’s spot in the playoffs, marking a historic moment for the second-year franchise — and was a subdued end to Messi and Inter Miami’s season after the furor that accompanied his initial appearances.
Charlotte FC’s Playoff Clinch
The decisive goal came in the 13th minute, credited to Kerwin Vargas. Charlotte’s first MLS playoff appearance was an impressive milestone in their young journey in the league.
Coach Martino’s Perspective
Coach Martino mentioned that we had two leagues to compete in: the US Open Cup and the League Cup. The club’s website states this information. Furthermore, our position was quite challenging when we were part of our tournament. In June, he joined the team when we were at the bottom of their conference.
Inter Miami’s Tournament Victory
Inter Miami secured victory in one of the three tournaments. If you had told me at the time of signing that they would win one of the three tournaments, fans would have unquestionably bitten your hand off.
Massive Spectator Turnout
As per the MLS, an impressive 66,101 spectators filled the stadium for the match. Lionel Messi, who is considered one of the best players in the sport, attracted a large crowd of people. He has won the Ballon d’Or seven times.
Lionel Messi’s Impact on the Game
The Argentine captain led Miami and completed the entire match. In the 62nd minute, his well-done curved free-kick hit the crossbar after being touched by goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina.
He also had a goal canceled for being offside in the second half.
Miami ends the season in 14th place out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference, earning 34 points. Messi concludes his campaign with an impressive 11 goals in just 14 games.