Inter Miami has been making headlines across the world in recent weeks. One of their most recent arrivals, a footballer you may have heard of called Lionel Messi, has been wowing crowds with his dazzling skills and unbelievable free kicks.
Is Messi capable of helping Inter Miami lift the MLS championship title for the first time? Read this article to find out.
Messi Arrives in Miami
From 2021 to 2023, Messi played for Paris Saint-Germain. He joined the Parisian side from Barcelona in what was one of the most widely reported transfers in football history.
In his time at PSG Messi scored 32 goals in 75 appearances, claiming 35 assists in the process. However, his relationship with the Barcelona hierarchy allegedly broke down, and the Camp Nou legend eventually left for PSG.
However, Messi never seemed to truly settle in Paris, and he was unable to guide the club towards their ultimate goal: winning the Champions League. A move to Saudi Arabia was briefly on the cards, but Messi eventually decided to head for the sun-soaked Miami beaches instead.
Messi’s arrival in Miami was met with much fanfare. Here he was, arguably,the greatest player of all time, joining a league often ridiculed amongst Europe’s elite. For Messi, it gave him a less pressurised environment where he could play and enjoy football, and for the MLS his presence gave the league an air of authenticity and legitimacy.
Messi Hits the Ground Running
Messi made his debut for Inter Miami in a Leagues Cup home tie against Cruz Azul. He came on as a substitute in the 54th minute, joining ex-Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets. The world media was watching, as were Messi’s loyal supporters and countless live betting fans. The crowd itself was packed with stars too, such as Serena Williams and Lebron James.
Inter Miami were 1 – 0 up after a Robert Taylor strike in the 44th minute. However, a goal from Uriel Antuna in the second half levelled things up for Cruz Azul. The game became a stalemate shortly after, with neither team able to break the deadlock and secure progression to the next round.
In the fourth minute of injury time, Inter won a free kick roughly 20 yards from goal. Up stepped Lionel Messi, and we don’t need to tell you what happened next. Like he’s done so often in his career, Messi fired the ball straight into the top corner, leaving the keeper with no chance and securing Inter Miami a last-minute victory.
Could Inter Miami be MLS Champions?
Inter Miami were floundering when Messi joined and, despite his best efforts, the team still remain at the bottom of the Eastern Conference MLS table.
Messi has yet to make his MLS debut for the club, he has only been involved in cup competitions so far. Could he be the difference and propel Inter towards a famous league victory or is the season already too far gone?
To win the MLS trophy, the top eight teams from both the Eastern and Western conferences enter a play-off round. At the moment, Inter remain at the bottom of the table, with just 18 points from 22 games played.
With eighth-placed Chicago on 32 points, it would need nothing short of a miracle for Inter to make it into the playoff spots. Not only would they need to win all of their remaining games, but they would need to rely on one of the current top eight losing a significant number of their own.
It would take something magical for Inter Miami to win the MLS title this season. However, they do have Messi, who can do magical things on a football pitch, so maybe it’s not as unlikely as we think.