Why Didn’t Lionel Messi Play in the MLS Match between Inter Miami and New York City?

The Seven-Time Ballon d’Or Winner’s Absence Raises Questions – In the world of soccer, Lionel Messi is a name that needs no introduction. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is undoubtedly one of the greatest footballers of all time. So when he’s missing from a crucial Major League Soccer (MLS) match between Inter Miami and New York City FC, fans and pundits alike start to wonder: Why didn’t Lionel Messi play?

The Build-Up

Messi’s absence from the starting lineup against New York City FC marked his third consecutive missed game for Inter Miami. The club had been teasing fans, suggesting that Messi might make an appearance, but it didn’t happen. The game was of significant importance, not only for Inter Miami but also for NYCFC, as it had playoff implications for both teams.

The Injury Mystery

The most pressing question was, why was Messi not playing? Inter Miami officially stated that Messi had a leg injury, but they didn’t disclose the seriousness of it. About 45 minutes before the game, the announcement was made that Messi would not be taking the field. This left fans and analysts perplexed.

The Weariness Factor

To add to the intrigue, Messi had already missed four out of Inter Miami’s last five matches, including one for the Argentina national team. Initially, his absence was attributed to weariness, as stated by both his club and the national team. However, as time passed, it became clear that there might be more to the story.

Playoff Implications

Messi’s absence was particularly concerning because it came at a critical juncture. Inter Miami was trailing NYCFC by five points with just two games left in the season. The team was striving to secure one of the Eastern Conference’s nine playoff positions. Messi’s presence could have been a game-changer.

Fan Displeasure

The fans were not pleased with the lack of clarity surrounding Messi’s condition. Social media erupted with comments criticizing the team’s communication. Supporters demanded transparency and straightforward information. They had invested not only their emotions but also their money in the hope of watching Messi play.

Ticket Price Controversy

Messi’s absence wasn’t the only topic causing a stir within the team. Inter Miami had recently sent out season-ticket renewal notices, and they came with significant price increases across all sections. Some season ticket prices were set to jump by staggering percentages, leaving loyal supporters in shock. The most expensive season tickets for the upcoming season were priced at over $40,000, excluding suites.

Revenue Generation

Despite the controversies and Messi’s sporadic appearances, it was evident that Inter Miami was reaping the benefits. MLS confirmed that Messi’s jersey was the best-seller of the season, a testament to his immense popularity. This achievement was remarkable, considering that Messi and Sergio Busquets had only joined Inter Miami in July. The team’s revenue streams were flourishing.

The Messi Effect

When Messi did grace the field, he made a significant impact. In the 12 games he played during the season, he scored an impressive 11 goals. Inter Miami boasted an unbeaten record of 8 wins and 4 draws when Messi was in the lineup. His presence had led the team to its first-ever trophy, the Leagues Cup championship. Ironically, this success had raised concerns about overburdening Messi, given his recent arrival at the club.

Mixed Results Without Messi

In Messi’s absence, Inter Miami struggled. The team managed just one win out of four games, signaling the stark contrast in their performance with and without the legendary player. Since Messi’s arrival, Inter Miami had outscored opponents 29-12 when he was on the field, but the numbers dropped to 12-10 when he was absent.

In conclusion, Lionel Messi’s absence from the crucial MLS match raised many questions and stirred controversies. While fans eagerly awaited his return to the field, the mystery surrounding his injuries and the ticket price hikes added to the intrigue. Despite the uncertainties, one thing remained clear: Messi’s impact on Inter Miami was undeniable, and his presence on the field was a game-changer.

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