Soccer fans in Dallas saw one No. 10 leave their mark on Monday night.
But it wasn’t Inter Miami star Lionel Messi.
Instead, it was FC Dallas star Jesus Ferreira, who scored three minutes into preseason matchleading to a 1-0 loss for Messi and Inter Miami at Cotton Bowl Stadium on Monday night.
Inter Miami is scoreless following two preseason matches in El Salvador and Dallas, and have a week before their next game in their worldwide tour.
Messi and Inter Miami stars Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets and newcomer Julian Gressel, an MLS Cup champion with Columbus Crew last seasonplayed the first 64 minutes of the match before being substituted out.
Messi and Suárez surely looked like a pair of former teammates who inherently knew where the other would be during their time together on the pitch. But their passes to set the other up for shots on goal did not reach the back of the net to change the score or remind soccer fans of their glory days together with FC Barcelona.
Messi missed three shots toward the net, while Suarez missed three opportunities during the match, including one where Suarez needed to stretch and contort his body to receive a stellar pass from Messi outside the penalty area.
Messi, wearing long sleeves under his black Inter Miami jersey, circled his way off the pitch wearing a heavy black jacket toward the locker rooms in the 87th minute waving to fans who braved the wet, 40-degree night to watch him play.
It was far from the thriller Messi and Inter Miami played against FC Dallas last August, which saw Inter Miami comeback from deficits of 3-1 and 4-2 with Messi scoring the equalizer in the 85th minute. Inter Miami advanced past FC Dallas with a 5-3 edge on penalty kicks during the Leagues Cup tournament match.
Instead, it was a second preseason game for Messi and Inter Miami, which has a jam-packed schedule before and during the 2024 MLS season.
When does Messi, Inter Miami play again?
Messi and Inter Miami will return home on Monday night, and have four days until they leave for an extended preseason tour in Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Inter Miami will play two matches in the Riyadh Season Cup, beginning Jan. 29 against Al Hilal, and on Feb. 1 against Al Nassr, where Messi will meet rival Cristiano Ronaldo in what could be the last match together in their illustrious careers.
Inter Miami’s preseason will continue with a match in Hong Kong on Feb. 4 and in Tokyo on Feb. 7. The club’s final preseason game will be at home against Newell’s Old Boys at DRV PNK Stadium (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) on Feb. 15 (time TBA).
What to know about the Messi vs. Ronaldo match Feb. 1
Soccer fans around the world are gearing up for Messi and Ronaldo to square off in what could be their final faceoff. MLS Season Pass on Apple TV will broadcast the match.
Messi’s Inter Miami faces Ronaldo’s Al-Hilal on Feb. 1 in the Riyadh Season Cup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. And event organizers promoted the match as “The Last Dance” when it was first announced.
The match will only add fuel to the raging Messi-Ronaldo debate around the world as to who is the best soccer player in the world.
Inter Miami will fly more than 25,000 miles in preseason
Messi and Inter Miami’s worldwide preseason tour will make stops in Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Tokyo in the next three weeks.
Inter Miami will fly 25,165.54 miles, an official shared with USA TODAY Sports – enough distance to take one trip around the world.
When does Inter Miami’s regular season begin?
Messi and Inter Miami will begin the 2024 MLS season against Real Salt Lake on Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. ET inside DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The club will also close out MLS opening weekend with a road game against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Feb. 25 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Click here for more on Messi’s expected scheduleincluding Inter Miami and Copa America matches, during 2024.
Leo Messi’s night is over, and Inter Miami’s other stars have also left the match.
Leo Messi, Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets and newcomer Julian Gressel have all come off the pitch in the 64th minute of the match, down 1-0 to FC Dallas.
Just before their exit, they had one last shot toward the net.
The sequence was: Messi to Robert Taylor to Messi to Suárez, but the ball was stopped right at the net.
Messi misses a left boot in the 55th minute: FC Dallas 1, Inter Miami 0
Leo Messi lined up a shot attempt just outside the box, but his left boot was halted by the Dallas goalie before the 55th minute.
Inter Miami’s stars are certainly figuring out their playing style and shaking off the rust as their second preseason game winds into the second half.
We’ll see how much longer Messi, Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba play in this one.
Two minutes later, Alba missed a crossing pass to Suárez, who was trailing down the middle. Inter Miami was called offsides.
Maybe, it’s the deficit.
Maybe, it’s because Inter Miami has a week before its next preseason match in Saudi Arabia.
But Messi, Suárez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are on the pitch for Inter Miami to begin the second half.
Inter Miami’s pace and playing style certainly became more engaged after Dallas standout Jesus Ferreira scored three minutes into Monday’s preseason match at Cotton Bowl Stadium.
Leo Messi and Luis Suárez have connected on several passes to each other, but unable to find the back of the net during the first half.
It’s unclear whether Inter Miami’s big four of Messi, Suárez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba will see any time in the second half. They did not play in the second half of their first preseason game last Friday in El Salvador.
But trailing 1-0, it could be conceivable to see Inter Miami play its star players in the opening minutes of the second half.
Messi timed a streaky Suarez toward the left side of the goal area, but Suárez needed to contort his body in a way just to get a shot off.
Suárez made contact, but the ball veered off to the right instead of on goal. It was a pretty pass from Messi, and a nice attempt from Suárez, but to no avail.
Dallas standout Jesus Ferreira was down on the field with an apparent injury, but able to walk off on his own power to substitute out of the match.
Again, it’s preseason and just as much as Inter Miami needs to keep its star players healthy and available for the season, Dallas is doing the same.
Ferreira leaves after making his mark, scoring a goal in the first three minutes of this preseason match against Messi and Inter Miami.
Asier Illarramendi misses shot on goal in 29’: FC Dallas 1, Inter Miami 0
FC Dallas midfielder Asier Illarramendi saw an opportunity for a shot on goal, and this time Inter Miami goalie Drake Callendar was ready.
It was the second shot on goal in the match for FC Dallas.
The only thing is Dallas scored its first one, which came three minutes into the preseason match against Messi and Inter Miami.
Messi, Suarez connection shaking off the rust: FC Dallas 1, Inter Miami 0
Messi could only smile, and give a thumbs up to Luis Suárez.
Suárez ran toward the right corner and fired a pass toward the middle of the box for Messi.
Messi connected on the ball, but it soared into the stands.
It’s been a few years since they played together, but it’s still a sight to see the former Barcelona stars finding each other on the pitch like old times.
Luis Suárez, Luis Ruiz misses before 15': FC Dallas, Inter Miami 0
Luis Suárez missed a shot on goal with a kick that didn’t quite have enough power behind it, while youngster Luis Ruiz also missed an opportunity on the outer part of the net.
Inter Miami has certainly turned up its aggression after falling behind 1-0 early.
Messi misses shot on goal in 12’: FC Dallas 1, Inter Miami 0
Sergio Busquets found Messi between several Dallas defenders for an open shot toward the net, but Messi could not make the most of the opportunity.
Messi’s shot skidded toward the right side of the net as he grimaced after missing the kick.
Messi, one sequence earlier, lofted a shot toward the net, but the goalkeeper saved it in the penalty area.
Messi gets ball into net on corner kick, but no goal: FC Dallas 1, Inter Miami 0
Messi lined up for a corner kick in the 8th minute, and the ball reached the middle of the net where the Dallas goalie made sure it didn’t get through.
While Inter Miami’s Sergio Busquets was in the mix near the net, FC Dallas was able to keep them scoreless.
One sequence later, Luis Suárez was tripped up after a contest and was seen limping as he worked his way back into play.
A No. 10 has scored. But not for Inter Miami.
FC Dallas standout Jesus Ferreira has scored a goal in the third minute of Monday night’s match, handing Messi and Inter Miami an early deficit.
Inter Miami trails for the first time in two matches, and now outscored 1-0 in the preseason.
An hour before the match, Inter Miami announced Messi is in the starting lineup alongside Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba against FC Dallas.
Inter Miami goalie Drake Callendar will also be in the lineup after training with the U.S. national team.
Here’s the starting lineup:
Could the Inter Miami vs. FC Dallas match be epic again?
Messi put on a show last August in his first matchup against FC Dallas during the Leagues Cup tournament.
Messi and Inter Miami – in just their fourth match together – looked like they were down and out trailing 4-3 in the final minutes of regulation until he delivered.
Messi scored two goals, his first six minutes into the match and the equalizer to tie the game at 4 in the 85th minuteand Inter Miami advanced past FC Dallas with a 5-3 edge on penalty kicks.
How long did Messi play during Inter Miami’s first preseason game?
Inter Miami’s big four – Messi, Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba – only played in the first half against El Salvador last Friday.
Coach Tata Martino was diligent with playing time, allowing his entire team (outside of a backup goalie) play during the match.
A wave of substitutions followed in the 63rd minute, but Inter Miami finished with 10 men after rising youngster Facundo Farias, 21, left the game with an ACL injury. Inter Miami announced he’s out for the season.