- Lionel Messi was substituted in the 37th minute of Inter Miami’s victory on Wednesday
- Fans were seen immediately leaving their seats as he left the field
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A video of Inter Miami fans rushing to the exit after Lionel Messi was substituted on Wednesday night has gone viral on social media.
Miami fans were left distraught to see the superstar leave the field with muscle fatigue after just 37 minutes and be replaced by Robert Taylor.
To make matters worse, the worrying change also came just two minutes after another of the team’s best players, Jordi Alba, also left the field in some discomfort.
In the immediate aftermath of the double substitution, fans were captured on camera making their way to the exit, leading to speculation that they were heading home with Messi no longer on the pitch.
That may not be entirely the case, after other fans suggested they were simply trying to avoid the queues at the food and drink stalls as half-time quickly approached.
Fans were caught on camera leaving their seats immediately after Lionel Messi left the pitch
Messi looked distraught as he sat on the bench after being taken off the pitch due to muscle fatigue
Taking to social media, one person wrote: ‘It’s going to be busy at half time for food,’ while another added: ‘I’m sure they’ll be back.’
Elsewhere, a supporter had a more negative view of the clip, writing: ‘These aren’t Inter fans, these are Messi fans. I love that the GOAT plays for my hometown team, but these people are the most annoying you will ever meet.
“Paying over $200 to not even see half the game because of one player is beyond stupid to me, no matter how much you have.”
From a purely football perspective, the news of Messi’s untimely departure will be a huge blow to coach Tata Martino, especially with the US Open Cup final fast approaching.
Fans paid a lot of money to be in the stadium, but they only got 37 minutes of playing time from Messi
Every time Miami plays, the stadium is flooded with pink Messi shirts, worn by fans young and old
The team has a big MLS match against Florida rival Orlando City on Sunday before hosting Houston Dynamo in the cup final on Wednesday – less than a week away.
If Miami want to win a second trophy of the season – following their League Cup success – they will need players like Messi and Alba firing on all cylinders.
However, it was no Messi and no problem for Inter Miami on Wednesday night as they defeated Toronto FC 4-0 and once again raised their play-off hopes.
As it stands, Miami is still 13th in the Eastern Conference, but has now overcome the New York Red Bulls lead and is just five points away from a Wildcard spot.