Lionel Messi made a cameo appearance as an 83rd-minute substitute when Inter Miami found themselves trailing 6-0 against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr.
Al Nassr has a higher-quality roster and quickly demonstrated its strength by scoring three goals against Inter Miami in just over ten minutes. In the third minute, Otavio dribbled the ball comfortably and then sent a powerful shot beyond the opponent’s goalkeeper. Seven minutes later, it was Anderson Talisca’s turn to make his mark on the electronic board with a precise run and close-range finish.
By the 12th minute, Al Nassr led 3-0. Aymeric Laporte, a former Manchester City midfielder, scored a spectacular home goal, forcing goalie Callender to dive into the net for the third time.
Cristiano Ronaldo was not registered to participate, therefore he sat in the VIP stands, and Messi sat in the reserve players’ seats. Every time Al Nassr scores, the camera continues to focus on Ronaldo. The 38-year-old striker sprang up to celebrate enthusiastically. Meanwhile, Messi sat thoughtfully and watched his teammates become overwhelmed.
Talisca completed the double early in the second half, then it was Maran’s turn to score, bringing the score to 5-0 for reigning runner-up Saudi Arabia. At 73 minutes, VAR intervened to overturn the referee’s judgment, allowing Talisca to complete a hat trick and score Al Nassr’s sixth goal.
Messi took the field when the contest was scheduled. The Argentine superstar could not assist Inter Miami score even a respectable goal.
Following this match, Al Nassr will play another friendly match against Al Hilal on February 9. Coach Luis Castro and his team’s season officially begins on February 15 with an AFC Champions League knockout phase encounter against Al Feiha. Meanwhile, Inter Miami will continue its tour. The American professional competition will begin on February 22.