Messi's Return from Injury: A Struggle in Inter Miami's Narrow Victory Over D.C. United

Messi's Subdued Return from Injury

On a rainy Saturday night at Chase Stadium, Lionel Messi made his much-anticipated return from a one-game absence due to a left leg injury. However, fans expecting a magical performance from the Argentine superstar were left somewhat disappointed. Although Inter Miami managed to clinch a 1-0 victory over D.C. United, Messi had a surprisingly quiet game, missing several free kicks that he would normally convert with ease.

Messi's Performance: Missed Opportunities

Throughout the match, Messi struggled to find his rhythm. In the first half alone, he missed two free kicks, and the frustration continued after halftime with another missed opportunity. The highlight, or lowlight, of his night came in the 71st minute when his best shot, a left-footed attempt from 25 feet out, soared over the crossbar. It was clear that he was not in his usual form, perhaps still feeling the effects of his recent injury.

The night wasn't entirely unproductive for Messi, though. His presence on the field certainly had a psychological impact on both teams. However, it was his teammate, Leo Campana, who stole the show. In the 94th minute, Campana received a well-timed pass from Sergio Busquets and found the back of the net. His jubilant celebration, which involved removing his jersey, underscored the dramatic end to what had been a tightly contested match.

Conditions and Missed Chances

The game itself was played under challenging conditions, with steady rainfall adding an extra layer of difficulty for both teams. Despite the weather, the match was filled with moments of tension and excitement. D.C. United’s best chance came in the 52nd minute when Jared Stroud missed a chip shot after a corner kick. It was a golden opportunity that could have shifted the momentum in favor of the visitors.

Inter Miami’s defense, however, held strong, and the team showcased a resilience that has become their hallmark this season. Messi, even when not at his best, continues to be a focal point for defenders, freeing up space for his teammates to make decisive moves. This dynamic was evident in Campana's late goal, which secured the win and kept Inter Miami firmly at the top of the MLS standings.

Inter Miami's Season and Messi's Contributions

Inter Miami’s current first-place standing in MLS is a testament to their consistent performance throughout the season. With four matches remaining in the next two weeks, the team faces a grueling schedule that will test their endurance and depth. Their upcoming fixtures include challenging games against Vancouver, Atlanta United, and St. Louis City. Each match is crucial as they look to maintain their lead in the standings.

Despite his subdued performance in this particular match, Messi’s contributions this season have been nothing short of extraordinary. He ranks second in the league with 10 goals and leads with 12 assists. His ability to change the course of a game with a single moment of brilliance has been a significant factor in Inter Miami's successful campaign. As the team gears up for the final stretch of the season, Messi’s form and fitness will undoubtedly be key to their aspirations.

Looking Ahead: Argentina and Copa America

As the MLS season reaches its climax, Messi’s attention will soon shift to international duties with Argentina. He is set to join the national team for Copa America next month, but before that, Argentina has exhibitions lined up against Ecuador and Guatemala. These matches will serve as crucial preparation for the tournament, which kicks off on June 20.

For Messi and Argentina, the Copa America represents another opportunity to add to his legacy. Despite the numerous titles and accolades he has accumulated over his illustrious career, international success remains a significant motivator for the Argentine wizard. Fans around the world will be watching closely, hoping to see Messi lead his country to glory.

The Road Ahead for Inter Miami

Back in Miami, the team will have to navigate a busy fixture list without their talisman for part of June. The upcoming matches will be a test of the squad's depth and resilience. Players like Campana and Busquets will need to step up and fill the void left by Messi's temporary absence. How Inter Miami manages this period could have a significant impact on their title aspirations.

Inter Miami's journey this season has been marked by memorable moments and dramatic victories. Messi's presence has undoubtedly elevated the team's performance and brought a new level of excitement to the fans. As they push towards the final games of the season and prepare for the challenges ahead, the entire Inter Miami squad will be looking to ensure that Messi's return from injury culminates in a triumphant end to the campaign.


In conclusion, Messi's return from injury may not have been the dazzling performance fans hoped for, but it was a crucial step towards full recovery. Inter Miami’s narrow win over D.C. United showcased the team's grit and determination. As they prepare for the final stretch of the MLS season and Messi gears up for international duty, the road ahead is filled with challenges and opportunities. The upcoming weeks will be pivotal in shaping the success of both Inter Miami and Lionel Messi as they aim to finish the season on a high note.

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