Lionel Messi’s Final Game with Inter Miami Culminates in Defeat

In a riveting twist to his inaugural journey with Inter Miami, soccer maestro Lionel Messi’s MLS season drew to a close with a narrow 1-0 loss against Charlotte FC at the Bank of America Stadium this past Saturday.

Despite a fairy tale onset marked by an unprecedented 12-game unbeaten run and clinching their maiden trophy, the Leagues Cup, under Messi’s influence, Miami couldn’t secure a spot in the playoffs. The spotlight, however, shone on Charlotte. Kerwin Vargas’ masterful strike in the 13th minute sealed their first-ever playoff berth, marking a significant milestone for the young franchise.


Reflecting on the season, head coach Gerardo Martino, who assumed his role in June during Miami’s challenging phase at the bottom of its conference, shared, “When I joined, we eyed success in the Leagues Cup and the U.S. Open Cup, and navigated a turbulent tournament journey. Winning one out of these three, especially with the initial scenario, feels like a triumph. Had someone offered this outcome at my signing, I’d have embraced it wholeheartedly.”

The match itself was a grand spectacle, attracting an impressive crowd of 66,101 spectators. The magnetism of Messi, a seven-time Ballon d’Or recipient and an unparalleled icon in the soccer realm, was palpable. Donning the captain’s armband for Miami, Messi displayed moments of brilliance. A testament to his genius was a curling free kick that nearly found its mark, only to be deflected onto the crossbar by the vigilant Kristijan Kahlina in the 62nd minute. Adding to the drama, Messi had a potential goal disallowed due to an offside decision early in the subsequent half.

As the curtains fall on this season, Inter Miami rests at 14th in the 15-team Eastern Conference with a tally of 34 points. Messi, on the other hand, leaves an indelible mark, netting 11 goals in his 14-game maiden MLS journey.


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