Six lessons Inter Miami learned during Lionel Messi's injury absence

IKEJA, Nigeria - April 3, 2024 - PRLog -- Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for and captains both Major League Soccer Club Inter Miami and the Argentina national team. The eight-time Ballon d'Or winner is set to return against Monterrey on Wednesday after missing the Herons' last four MLS games

There's a reason that the world is watching Inter Miami, and that reason is Lionel Messi. His ex-Barcelona and now-Miami teammates are stars, for sure, but MLS has seen stars. The league has never seen Messi, though. His presence is a phenomenon. For the past few weeks, Inter Miami have had to navigate life without that phenomenon. An injury has kept Messi out of the XI, with the Herons taking every precaution with the Argentinian star. He isn't being rushed, and in his absence, his teammates have been tasked with surviving without him.

It's been a month since we've seen Messi play in an MLS match. Injuries have kept him out of everything save for two CONCACAF Champions Cup matches against Nashville SC, which set up Wednesday's quarterfinal clash with Mexican powerhouse Monterrey. That first leg looks set to mark Messi's return, which will obviously be welcome news to anyone associated with Miami.  Since Messi's last league match, a 5-0 demolition of rivals Orlando City, the Herons have played four league games. From those games, they earned four points. Three of them came in a win over D.C. United with the further point being earned this past weekend in a draw with NYCFC. Mixed in there was a loss to CF Montreal and an absolute battering at the hands of the New York Red Bulls, who truly exposed Miami at a rain-soaked Red Bull Arena.

You learn about teams during adversity, and there's no bigger adversity for Inter Miami than missing Messi. Throughout this run, we've learned plenty about this group and gotten glimpses into the club's plans to cope in the moments when their star is unavailable.

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