How Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and co fared in Inter Miami’s defeat to Al Hilal

Inter Miami’s star-studded squad took the pitch once again in their international tour but fell just short against Saudi Pro League giants Al Hilal.

The 4-3 defeat to Al Hilal marks the Herons’ second defeat of their international tour and their third straight match without a win after their 0-0 draw to El Salvador and 1-0 loss to FC Dallas.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Miami, though. While they are still searching for their first win of 2024 (even though results in preseason typically don’t mean much), it was a much better showing from the Herons compared to their first two fixtures of the new year.

Suarez is off the mark in an Inter Miami shirt, as he slotted home his first goal in his new colors to pull one back for his side after going two goals down.

It was probably one of the easier finishes the Uruguayan has had in his storied career, as he caught the Al Hilal backline sleeping before finding the back of the net with a calm tap-in.

Suarez managed 76 minutes against Al Hilal – the most he’s played thus far in preseason after playing over 45 minutes against El Salvador and FC Dallas. With another game in Saudi Arabia in two days time vs Al Nassr, don’t be shocked if Miami boss Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino opts to give Leo Campana the nod up front to give Suarez a little rest.

Lionel MessiLionel Messi

Messi converted his penalty kick / Yasser Bakhsh/GettyImages

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner opened his 2024 scoring account with the south Florida side from 12 yards out, sending Al Hilal goalkeeper Hbib Al-Wutaian the wrong way.

The legendary Argentine logged 88 minutes played at the Kingdom Arena and made way for Finland international Robert Taylor right before Malcom found the back of the net to give Al Hilal the lead.

Along with the converted penalty kick, Messi also registered an assist for David Ruiz’s strike that brought the game to 3-3. Not only was Ruiz’s finish excellent as he showcased exceptional dribbling ability, but the assist was another classic assist for Messi where he appears to be several steps ahead of everyone on the pitch.

Jordi AlbaJordi Alba

Jordi Alba played the full 90 against Al Hilal / Aric Becker/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba both had much quieter displays when compared to Messi and Suarez but also weren’t subbed off in the narrow defeat.

Both former Spain internationals logged a full 90 minutes played for the second straight game after the 1-0 loss to Dallas last week. Their performances will more than likely go under the radar considering the duo didn’t notch a goal or an assist, but another full game played under their belts helps prepare them for the busy season ahead.

Both players, like Messi, will certainly feature against Al Nassr this Thursday but it remains to be seen whether they play the full 90 again or take on a limited role as Miami still have three more preseason friendlies lined up after the Riyadh Season Cup.


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