June 21, 2024

Inter Miami’s captain, Lionel Messi, was seen back on the training pitch on Tuesday. The 36-year-old had sat out Miami’s past three matches and Argentina’s recent friendly wins against El Salvador and Costa Rica due to a tight right hamstring. However, there’s optimism that Messi might make a comeback for Wednesday night’s clash as Miami hosts Monterrey in the initial leg of their Champions Cup quarter-finals. The return leg is scheduled for April 10 in Mexico, with the victor advancing to face either Columbus Crew or UANL in the semifinals.

In Messi’s absence, Miami has faced difficulties, suffering a 3-1 defeat against D.C. United followed by a heavy 4-0 loss to New York Red Bulls and a 1-1 draw with New York City.

However, Miami’s performance this season has shown a stark contrast when Messi has been on the field. In the five games where Messi has played, Miami remains undefeated.

Messi’s impact on the team’s performance is evident in his personal statistics as well. He has scored five goals in his first five appearances for Miami in 2024, following his impressive tally of 11 goals in 14 appearances last year.

Lionel Messi pictured celebrating after scoring a goal for Inter Miami in the CONCACAF Champions Cup in March 2024

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