“If you don’t have that type of talent, the level will drop” – Thierry Henry delivers verdict on Lionel Messi struggling at Inter Miami


Former Barcelona and Arsenal star Thierry Henry has pointed his finger towards Major League Soccer (MLS)’s talent pool as the reason for Lionel Messi’s recent struggles at Inter Miami. This comes after the Herons’ lackluster performances in pre-season matches ahead of the new season.

Henry said that Lionel Messi can contribute on the pitch regardless of the standard of the competition. The former player-turned-pundit, however, believes that Messi needs other top players around to showcase his best form.

However, Henry, who previously played in the MLS, did not pin the blame entirely on the American league. He said that such cases of star players struggling to find consistency can happen anywhere in the world.

Speaking to ESPN, Thierry Henry said:

“I mean Leo (Messi) is just unstoppable wherever he goes. He will score goals, and it has nothing to do with the league. But having said that, you know, it’s a new league. I mean how do you battle with history?”

He added:

“You guys will know, like, the best players are often in Europe. So, you will have those guys playing there and if you don’t have that type of talent, the level will drop. But, the level will drop in a lot of leagues not only in the MLS.”

Inter Miami have played six pre-season games so far and have secured just one victory, a 4-1 win over Hong Kong XI. They have suffered three defeats, including a 6-0 loss to Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia.

Lionel Messi himself has struggled with injuries and form in these games. He failed to make an appearance off the bench during Inter Miami’s win against Hong Kong XI, which did not go down well with fans as well as the organizers of the game.

Messi’s only goal in pre-season came against Al-Hilal, against whom his side suffered a 4-3 defeat.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner, however, still has one friendly game to find his feet. The Florida-based side are set to face Lionel Messi’s boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys in their final pre-season game on February 15 at their DRV PNK Stadium.

How did Lionel Messi do for Inter Miami last season?

Despite his current struggles at Inter Miami, Messi did help his new side win the 2023 Leagues Cup. He had an excellent start to life in the Unted States after arriving in Florida on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

In his short spell at the club last season, Messi contributed 11 goals and five assists in 14 matches across all competitions. This included a tally of 10 goals and an assist in that triumphant Leagues Cup campaign.

Lionel Messi, however, had a torrid time in MLS. He managed to score just once in six matches as he struggled with a muscular injury.

Messi and Inter Miami kickstart their 2024 MLS campaign with a home game against Real Salt Lake on February 21.

Edited by Shubham Banerjee

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