Lionel Messi’s mid-match substitution appears to have been due to fatigue rather than injury. The team will take the weekend off to prepare for next week’s US Open Cup final.

Inter Miami defeated Toronto 4-0 in the 30th round of the 2023 Major League Soccer (MLS) Eastern Conference at DRV PNK Stadium in Tampa, Florida, USA, at 8:30 a.m. ET on Sept. 21.

On the day, Inter Miami deployed a 5-3-2 formation. Messi and Martinez lined up up front, while Farias, Busquets, and Luis formed the midfield. The back four was a combination of Alba, Miller, Krivtsov, Aviles, and Yedlin, with Calendar in goal. Toronto countered with Insigne, Bernardeschi, Osorio, and Bradley.

Inter Miami had a change of scenery midway through the first half. In the 34th minute, Alba felt unwell and was substituted. Three minutes later, Messi went down with an injury. The unexpected circumstances led to two first-half substitutions.

Both players joined Inter Miami this summer. Alba moved to Barcelona in 2012 and was a consistent performer until last season, when he joined Messi and Busquets in the Inter Miami jersey.

Messi has been an iconic figure for Barcelona. He made his professional debut in 2004 and established himself as a key player, staying at the top for 17 years. However, his time with the club came to an abrupt end in the summer of 2021 when he was up for renewal due to the club”s financial problems. Messi then joined Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for a new challenge.

This summer, Messi fulfilled his two-year contract with PSG. A return to Barcelona was a possibility, and Saudi Arabia were willing to pay a huge amount of money to bring him back, but Messi’s final choice was Inter Miami in the MLS.

Messi quickly established himself as a key member of the team. Prior to his MLS debut, he made his first appearance in the League Cup, a competition between club teams from North and Central America. Messi was a key attacker in the tournament, scoring 10 goals in seven games from the first round of the group stage to the final. The club won the trophy for the first time in its history. 스포츠토토

He’s continued his top-notch form in the league. Currently, Messi has one goal and two assists in three league games. However, in this game, he was substituted out of nowhere. However, Inter Miami didn’t let that stop them, as they scored four unanswered goals in a 4-0 victory over Toronto.

Inter Miami head coach Gerard Martino has hinted at resting Messi for the weekend’s match against Orlando City. More importantly for Inter Miami is the U.S. Open Cup final against the Houston Dynamo on Sept. 28. Inter Miami reached the final after beating Cincinnati on March 24. Messi had two assists in that match.