Soccer is a team sport, but there are moments when the presence of a player transcends the collective, profoundly influencing the destiny of their team. This is the case with Lionel Messi and his relationship with Inter Miami CF in Major League Soccer (MLS).
The absence of the Argentine wizard in the team’s last four matches has made it clear how essential Messi is to Inter Miami’s success. His unquestionable talent, his ability to decide games, and his unique skill in creating opportunities make him one of the most valuable players on the planet, and his absence is felt overwhelmingly.
The concept of “Messidependence” has been associated with Messi’s name for years, from his glorious days at FC Barcelona to his stint with Paris Saint-Germain. However, Messidependence is now a challenge for Inter Miami CF, a team that, just a few weeks ago, was experiencing a moment of excitement and hope.
The current situation of Inter Miami, currently in 14th place in the Eastern Conference, five points away from the playoff line, reveals how delicate their dependence on Messi is. Gerardo “Tata” Martino, the team’s coach, has acknowledged that their chances of qualifying are minimal. The team needs to win their last three matches and hope for favorable results elsewhere to have any hope.
Messi’s absence, due to an unspecified injury, leaves the team with a void in creativity and effectiveness in the attack. The frustration of the fans is understandable, as are the questions about the player’s physical condition. Martino emphasizes that it’s not possible to force a player onto the field when they’re not in proper condition.
However, it’s fair to question why a team is so dependent on a single player, no matter how talented they are. Inter Miami CF must seek solutions to reduce this dependence and build a team capable of facing challenges even in Messi’s absence.
The uncertainty about Messi’s return and his role in the Argentine national team’s qualifiers adds another layer of complexity to this story. Inter Miami must find a balance between their own interests and Messi’s full recovery, without jeopardizing the player’s health.
As Inter Miami CF faces its “Messidependence” dilemma, it’s important for the club and its fans to recognize the need for a more balanced strategy for the future. A team’s success should not be defined by a single player, no matter how brilliant. The challenge now is to find a way to thrive even in the absence of the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) in world soccer, Lionel Messi.