Messi, Miami beaten by Dallas in preseason friendly

Lionel Messi #10 of Inter Miami CF shakes hands with teammates after exiting the match during the second half in the match between Inter Miami CF and FC Dallas at Cotton Bowl on January 22, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP

Lionel Messi and Inter Miami slumped to a 1-0 defeat against FC Dallas in a preseason friendly on Monday before the team set off on a hectic international tour.

After a lackluster 0-0 draw against El Salvador on Friday, Miami delivered another performance to forget in wet, cold conditions at the Cotton Bowl Stadium.

Argentine superstar Messi and former Barcelona teammates Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets were all substituted after 64 minutes with Miami trailing 1-0.

Messi created a handful of openings during his stint on the pitch, with his best effort a rasping 30-yard volley that was parried by Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes early in the second half.

The World Cup-winner almost created an opening goal for Suarez in the first half, but the Uruguayan’s volley with the outside of his right boot rolled wide.

Dallas, meanwhile, took the lead through Jesus Ferreira after just three minutes, the US international striker holding off Miami defender Noah Allen before drilling a low angled shot into the bottom corner past goalkeeper Drake Callender.

Monday’s game was the second in a globe-trotting schedule of pre-season friendlies for Miami as they prepare to kick off the new MLS season against Real Salt Lake on February 21.

Following Monday’s game, the Florida club head to Saudi Arabia for a fixture against Al-Hilal on January 29, and then face Al-Nassr on February 1 -– a game that should see Messi line up against old rival Cristiano Ronaldo once more.

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Miami then travel to Asia to play friendlies against a Hong Kong select team in the Chinese territory on February 4, before taking on Japanese side Vissel Kobe in Tokyo three days later.

The Herons return to the United States for a final pre-season game against Argentine squad Newell’s Old Boys on February 15.

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