Lionel Messi's wayward free-kick leaves little girl in tears

The incident happened when Messi missed his mark on a set-piece

By Web Desk
March 04, 2024

Lionel Messi’s wayward free-kick struck a little girl during hosts Inter Miami’s 5-0 victory over Orlando City on Sunday.

The incident happened when Messi missed his mark on a set-piece versus Orlando City, which left the kid in tears.

Luis Suarez notched up the first two goals of his MLS career and assisted Messi twice while Robert Taylor added the other goal for unbeaten Miami.

Julian Gressel assisted Suarez's two goals, both coming during the opening 11 minutes.

Drake Callender made a couple of saves to keep his second clean sheet for the Herons.

Orlando suffered their worst regular-season defeat since a 5-0 loss at New York City FC in July 2021.

Earlier, Inter Miami boss Tata Martino had suggested that Messi might already be feeling fatigued, indicating that the Argentine star expended 'too much energy' during the team's initial two MLS matches after undergoing a demanding tour of Asia to prepare for the new season.

On Friday, the Herons' manager emphasised the need for Messi's teammates to deliver better support play to the 36-year-old if they hope to maximise his impact this year.

"Tata Martino said Lionel Messi has expended too much energy first two games, aim is for the rest of the team to move ball better so he can focus on finalizing goals and preserving some energy for long season ahead," Michelle Kaufman, of The Miami Herald, reported.

Martino's observation holds merit, especially considering that Inter Miami is slated to compete in up to five tournaments this season: the MLS regular season, MLS Cup, CONCACAF Champions League, Leagues Cup, and US Open Cup.

Moreover, Messi is anticipated to feature prominently throughout the MLS regular season due to the league's new £2.5 billion, 10-year agreement with Apple TV.

In contrast to his typical pre-seasons with Barcelona and PSG, the 2022 World Cup winner didn't exhibit his usual physical peak during Inter Miami's arduous global tour in 2023, encompassing visits to South and Central America, the Middle East, and Asia.