Messi, Suarez and the instinctive moves that Inter Miami will need to win the MLS

We dive into the Big Data of Messi’s career to detect his favorite link-up moves with Suarez, Alba and Busquets around himMessi, Suarez and the instinctive moves that Inter Miami will need to win the MLS

MIGUEL ÁNGEL GARCÍA / ARNAU VIÑEGLAS
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Major League Soccer (MLS) is set to kick off today, with Leo Messi and Luis Suarez as the main attractions. The Herons, after a challenging preseason tour, will host Real Salt Lake at DRV PNK Stadium this evening (8 pm ET / 5 pm PT) on the opening day.

The arrival of Luis Suarez, who recently turned 37, adds to the family atmosphere that Inter Miami has built around Leo. The club not only boasts a group of friends but a group of players that have played with the Argentine before, building instinctive connections.

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Lionel Messi’s son Thiago makes him proud with golazo and a trophy for Inter Miami

Leo Messi and Luis Suarez’s Last Dance, a lethal pairing

‘El Pistolero’ arrives in Florida with the belief that Inter Miami will be his final club. His body is sending him warning signals: he is experiencing sharp knee pains and requires medication and injections to play football. He is determined to endure this discomfort to spend more time with Leo, his close friend.

Luis Suarez is undoubtedly the striker who has best understood the Argentinian. His threat behind the opposing defense has always been a double-edged sword for Barcelona.

With Suarez attacking the box, Jordi Alba providing a lateral passing line, and Leo able to score from anywhere, Messi’s diagonal runs from the left were a real headache for the opposition.

Suarez’s physical decline will slow down his ability to attack space. That’s undeniable. But it doesn’t have to diminish his chemistry with Leo: the Uruguayan has to impose himself on the balcony of the area to return walls and leave the Argentine facing him.

This is the most repeated play in Suarez‘s 32 assists to Messi in league competition. Inter Miami sign a player with an unbroken eye for goal (26 goals and 17 assists in 2023 with Gremio) and the most prolific partner of Messi‘s career.

Both left Barcelona in tears. They come together, four years later, to write their own ending, something the past denied them.

An unlimited partnership with Jordi Alba… that exploded after Neymar’s farewell

In any football conversation, the words ‘Jordi Alba – Messi‘ work like a spell. Because when we recite them, the attendance at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu appears in our minds, the one that decides in the 92nd minute the most dramatic Clasico of the last decade.

This partnership was born in 2012, when Barcelona signed Jordi Alba. The La Masia-trained full-back trained for the first time on 9 August and his first assist for Messi came just seventeen days later, on 26 August on the second matchday of the league. The connection, however, did not explode until the departure of the winger who inhabited the left flank: Neymar.

After Neymar left, this partnership exploded and it also featured Leo’s fake run, a feint that consists of simulating a sprint behind the defenders’ backs to stop and finish the ball in a void created by Messi himself, with the opponent already deep in the penalty area.

The art of breaking lines and a warning to all concerned: “We must work on defensive solidity”.

To find Messi in the midfield, the team must offer him partners in midfield. This is where the role of Sergio Busquets comes in, who works in the shadows in defense and masters the technique of filtering balls to break rival lines.

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An art that he masters and benefits Messi: in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, he was the player with the most passes that broke lines with Messi as the receiver. On American soil, Busquets should benefit from the defensive mismatches that characterize MLS teams.

That extra second offered by the American pace is a balm for Busi. In front of the fans of MLS 2023 finalists LAFC, the midfielder put on a real show, providing the link in all the Herons’ attacks. It is undoubtedly one of the founding games of this Inter Miami team, a deep and dynamic team that aims to find Messi in the three-quarter area and offer him multiple solutions.

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