Busquets' dismissal and historic defeat expose Inter Miami's problems

Inter Miami humiliated by FC Cincinnati in 6-1 thrashing, with Busquets bizarrely sent off
Simon M Bruty/GettyImages

The MLS witnessed an unbelievable spectacle last Saturday, June 6. Inter Miami CF, used to shining with their ex-Barcelona stars, saw one of their mainstays, Sergio Busquets, bizarrely sent off in the space of 10 seconds. The 6-1 defeat to FC Cincinnati was a blow for the Herons, who, without Messi, Suárez and Jordi Alba, looked lost on the pitch.

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It all started 16 minutes into the second half, when the score was already 5-1 to Cincinnati. Referee Chris Penso booked Campana for a foul on Yedlin in midfield. Busquets, outraged by the decision, went to complain and was yellow-carded. In a show of indignation, he continued to protest vehemently, even touching the referee's head and pointing accusingly. And that was that: second yellow and automatic sending-off.

This episode marked the fourth sending-off in the career of the veteran midfielder, known for his control and calmness in midfield. His other dismissals came in high-voltage matches: against Real Madrid in 2009, Rayo Vallecano in 2022, and a straight red card in 2012 against Benfica in the Champions League. The scene of Busquets leaving the pitch, still gesticulating and visibly angry, symbolized the collapse of Inter Miami that night.

Without their main players, with Messi and Suárez representing their national teams in the Copa América and Jordi Alba serving a suspension, Inter Miami looked like a disjointed team. Tata Martino tried to reorganize the team, putting Busquets in at center-back alongside Serhiy Kryvtsov. The strategy didn't work. The slow and disorganized defence was an invitation to Cincinnati's attack, which was unforgiving.

In fact, Kryvtsov scored Inter Miami's only goal of the game, a small consolation on a night to forget. But his goal wasn't enough to mask the team's defensive fragility and lack of creativity without their other stars. The final score of 6-1 exposed the problems of an Inter Miami side that, despite the investment and the big names, has yet to find a consistency and identity on the pitch.

This match made it clear that Inter Miami relies heavily on its ex-Barcelona players. Without them, the team proved vulnerable and unable to react to adversity. Tata Martino will have a big job ahead of him to adjust the team and find solutions that don't rely exclusively on his stars.

The MLS season still has many chapters to be written, and Inter Miami need to learn from this defeat so as not to repeat the same mistakes. Busquets' sending-off was a negative turning point, but also a reminder that discipline and emotional control are fundamental in any sport. For Busquets, it was a reminder that, despite all his experience, he has to keep a cool head even in the most adverse situations.

The humiliation suffered against FC Cincinnati could be the fuel Inter Miami needs to reorganize and come back stronger. With the return of their star players and the necessary adjustments, the Herons have the potential to bounce back. But the message is clear: it's not enough to have big names, you need a cohesive, disciplined team capable of facing any challenge, both on and off the pitch.