Highlights of Inter Miami vs. El Salvador: Lionel Messi plays half of his first preseason game

Highlights of Inter Miami vs. El Salvador: Lionel Messi
Highlights of Inter Miami vs. El Salvador: Lionel Messi | Image Credit: mlssoccer.com

For good reason, Lionel Messi’s 2024 Inter Miami preseason start was brief.

The opening half of Inter Miami’s preseason match against the El Salvador national team was played by the squad’s big four—Messi, Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba—all former Barcelona players. The game finished in a stalemate.

The world’s biggest soccer fan, Messi received waves of applause from the crowd at Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador, El Salvador, every time he touched the ball. In the 87th minute, Messi left the Inter Miami bench to proceed to the locker rooms.

Before the 2024 MLS season officially starts, Inter Miami will go on a preseason globe tour that will cover more than 25,000 kilometers. This was only the beginning of the journey.

Also Read: Facts to Know About Ravens vs. Texans Match

What time is the next Inter Miami game?

The next preseason matchup between Inter Miami and FC Dallas takes place at Dallas’ Cotton Bowl Stadium on Monday night.

What was the performance of Messi and Inter Miami vs El Salvador?

Messi missed two opportunities in the first half to wow the supporters with a goal. Just before halfway, he gave a free kick into a huddle of defenders. In the 35th minute, Mario Gonzalez, the goalie for El Savador, saved a shot on goal that he attempted.

During the first half, Alba also received touches from Suarez and Busquets but his attempt on goal was stopped by Gonzalez. Nevertheless, Inter Miami’s big four were replaced as the second half started.

Tata Martino, the coach of Inter Miami, was very careful with the lineup. In the 63rd minute, four more Inter Miami starters were replaced: Tomas Aviles, Justin Gressell, DeAndre Yedlin, and Benjamin Cremaschi.

Furthermore, Facundo Farias, a potential young player who was back on the squad from the previous season, left with what appeared to be a knee injury, thus Inter Miami played with 10 men in the end.

It was the first time since 2020 that Messi, Suarez, Busquets, and Alba had played together. Since joining Inter Miami in July of last year, Messi and his colleagues have only worn their black jerseys twice.

Facundo Farias of Inter Miami departs due to a knee injury

An injury forced one of Inter Miami’s young, talented players off the field.

Just before the seventieth minute of play, Facundo Farias had to be helped off a stretcher due to what seemed to be a knee injury. Instead of using eleven players, Inter Miami will end this game with ten on the field.

At the start of the second half, Farias replaced Messi in the game. His availability is now doubtful for the remainder of Inter Miami’s preseason and, depending on how serious the injury is, maybe for the entire season.

  • Messi, the star of Inter Miami, leaves the game at halfway.
  • The first half of activity is ended for Messi.

The Big Four of Inter Miami went to the bench as the second half got underway. In Friday’s game at the Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador, El Salvador, Messi, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Busquets were all replaced.

Although the length of time fans in El Salvador would have preferred, Inter Miami’s global preseason tour is scheduled to take place over the course of the next 20 days, and the team will be playing a lot of games in 2024.

Messi left the field at the start of the second half, leaving Busquets and Alba sitting on Inter Miami’s bench beside him.

Messi missed a free kick in the last second of the first half and another opportunity in the 35th minute, therefore he was unable to score throughout his involvement. However, Messi was felt by the El Salvadorian supporters, who enthusiastically celebrated each time he touched the ball.

Just before the half, Messi scored a free kick for Inter Miami,0; El Salvador, 0.

Messi’s stage was once again set with a free kick. However, it seems like Messi was unprepared for El Salvador’s defensive alignment.

Messi kicked the ball low into the defenders’ mass before leaving the field as halftime approached without a goal from either team.

After Luis Suarez sent the ball to Messi, a defender confronted him.

Messi seemed to have been booted in the left foot by the defender during their collision, as he was momentarily left lying on the field.

Messi seemed alright following the exchange.

The question now is how much Messi, Suarez, Busquets, Alba, and other players prepare for Inter Miami’s intense preseason schedule.

El Salvador 0 Inter Miami 0 Jordi Alba misses in 40′

Jordi Alba attempted a shot on the El Salvadorian goaltender, but it was unsuccessful.

The goalie, Mario Gonzalez, easily stopped Alba’s shot.

A scoreless first half is just a few minutes away for Messi and Inter Miami.

El Salvador 0 Inter Miami 0 Messi misses in 35′

Messi fired high and straight at the El Salvadorian goaltender in the 35th minute, but the goalie stopped it.

Messi was unable to get off another clear shot as soon as he collected the rebound.

However, Messi almost had his memorable moment.

As Messi collapsed to the ground, Sergio Busquets used his extended leg to pass the ball to him, starting the sequence.

In the first half of the game, Messi, Luis Suarez, Busquets, and Jordi Alba had all been touched.

Hey, there’s something to be said about Inter Miami’s nearly one-week-old preseason helping players get over their summer rust.

El Salvador has had two chances to score, but both have gone wide for Inter Miami’s defense.

Photos of Messi’s new Adidas cleats are posted

Leo Messi may be found by checking for his highlight-colored cleats, however several of his Inter Miami colleagues are also sporting the same hue.

Earlier this week, Messi shared two images of himself on Instagram with his yellow highlight Adidas cleats, which he wore for the El Salvador match.

5′ update: In the first few minutes, fans erupt as Messi touches the ball.

In the first two minutes, Messi had touched the ball twice, and each time he gained possession, the El Salvadorian audience sent out a loud roar. 

Luis Saurez was the recipient of Messi’s first pass of the game in the box. Even though Suarez was unable to make a play with the ball, it was exciting nonetheless.

Several El Salvadorian players pushed Messi close to midfield, and he even attempted a play on one knee before the play was reset.

Seeing Messi, Suarez, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba together again on the same field in 2024 is strange. However, this is Inter Miami as it is now.

How to watch the Inter Miami game between Messi and El Salvador?

The Inter Miami game versus El Salvador is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET and will be webcast in both Spanish and English on MLSes.com and MLSSoccer.com.

Messi beginning for Inter Miami vs El Salvador

Jordi Alba, Messi, Luis Suarez, and Sergio Busquets are the starting lineup for Inter Miami.

This is the first lineup:

When Inter Miami plays El Salvador, they will wear black jerseys.

For the game on Friday, Inter Miami will be dressed in black jerseys.

There is, however, a difference: the foundation logo of Inter Miami is now included on the front of the shirt outfit.

This shirt will be used by Inter Miami on January 22 for both the FC Dallas preseason game and the match against El Salvador.

To what extent will Messi play?

El Salvador and Dallas will host Inter Miami’s preseason matches before the team travels to Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Inter Miami will travel almost 25,000 kilometers total. Thus, the amount of time that certain players may play will be restricted.

When Inter Miami coach Tata Martino said last week that some players will play less minutes in the team’s first two preseason games—the second of which is scheduled for January 22 at Dallas’ Cotton Bowl Stadium versus FC Dallas—he unintentionally stirred a stir.

“We have to balance how much each player participates,” Martino said during MLS media day on Jan. 11. “The games in Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Japan were planned from the end of last season, and we will be ready for those. The question is how we manage the first two games against El Salvador and Dallas because those are so soon. We will have to make decisions about how many minutes certain players can play in those games.”

Martino stated, “We have to balance how much each player participates,” on January 11 during the MLS media day. “We will be prepared for the games in Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and Japan, which were scheduled since the conclusion of the previous season. Given how quickly we have the first two games against El Salvador and Dallas, the issue is how we will handle them. The amount of minutes that particular players can play in such games will need to be decided.


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