Lionel Messi’s arrival to Inter Miami has been nothing short of a miraculous turnaround for the Fort Lauderdale club and since making his first appearance for The Herons, the Argentine has led them to a blissful stream of victories and celebrations.
Since being unveiled as a Miami player back in July, Messi has played a total of 10 games for the club, making appearances in the Leagues Cup, U.S. Open Cup and MLS. He scored a goal in each of his first nine matches and lifted one trophy.
Now, Leagues Cup championship victory against Nashville and U.S. Open Cup Final qualification aside, the retrospect between Inter Miami’s first 10 games with Lionel Messi and the club’s previous 10 games before La Pulga's arrival, is a clear representation of just how important the World Cup champion has been as a signing for the MLS club. Talk about instant impact.
Inter Miami’s record with Lionel Messi, before and after
Inter Miami have played 10 games since Messi’s arrival — all games that the Argentine has participated in.
The Herons have won six games and drawn four (three of which were games decided through a penalty shoot-out in the Leagues Cup knockout rounds.)
Thus, if we consider the final result of those games as victories, Inter Miami have won nine games out of the 10 that they’ve played since the South American’s debut. From that point on, they’ve scored 27 goals and have conceded only eight, resulting in a goal difference of +19. That works out to 2.7 goals per game, six games scoring three goals or more and four clean sheets recorded.
These statistics, for any club, become a clear sign of good team chemistry and momentum. Though, in Miami’s case, these statistics become even more impressive when you consider the form and record held previous to Messi’s contributions.
In the 10 matches played previous to a Messi appearance on the pitch, Inter Miami lost six games, drew three and only had one victory. They only managed to beat Legion FC in the U.S. Open Cup.
That decuple of games prior to the Albiceleste captain saw Inter Miami concede a total of 19 goals and score only nine, resulting in a goal difference of -11. That's 0.9 goals per game, six games conceding two or more goals and only one clean sheet recorded. The only opponent unable to score against them? USL’s Legion FC.
Messi arrived to sweep them out of utter chaos — a chaos still present in their MLS season.
After the Argentine's Leagues Cup fairytale start, it'll be interesting to see if Leo Messi will be able to catapult their current form into what’s rest of their MLS campaign — one of which is in dire need of a miracle to qualify for the playoffs.
As of Matchday 30 of the MLS 2023 Season, Inter Miami is bound to make a 10-point deficit comeback if they want a chance to qualify for the postseason play-in match. They are currently in 14th place and 10 points away from 9th place Chicago Fire.
The first spot clinched in the 2023 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs goes to @fccincinnati.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 31, 2023
Though, if any team is capable of accomplishing this feat, it’s the one walking out onto the pitch with the world’s best as their captain.