Inter Miami’s narrow 4-3 friendly defeat to Saudi Pro League leaders Al Hilal in Riyadh on Monday was highlighted with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi’s first goals of 2024.
What needs to be discussed more is the incredible Messi assist vs Al Hilal in the 55th minute to set up youngster David Ruiz.
The Herons were trailing 3-1 in the second half until the 54th minute when Messi finished confidently from the penalty spot to bring his side within one. A minute later the score would be level thanks to a beauty of a goal.
Lionel Messi assist vs Al Hilal
TAKE A BOW, DAVID RUIZ
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) January 29, 2024
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MessiVision is truly special. Not too shabby of a finish from 19-year-old Ruiz.
Messi’s goals for Inter Miami last year drew lots of attention, but people sometimes forget that he also had five assists in 14 games.
A well-worked goal like this one from Ruiz and Messi is what many fans were expecting to see from Inter Miami in their preseason tour. That wasn’t the case for the Herons as their first two games — against El Salvador and FC Dallas — saw no goals from the men in pink.
Scoring three against Al Hilal, who have only conceded nine goals in 19 league games this season, is a great sign of improvement.
Up next for Inter Miami is arguably their biggest preseason game against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr on Thursday. The one looming question is if Ronaldo will play in the friendly as he’s recovering from a calf injury that forced his club to cancel a tour in China.
Inter Miami vs Al Hilal highlights