The harsh welcome in Monterrey was too much for Messi, Inter Miami

Mexico City, Puerto Rico — Lionel Messi makes chaos happen everywhere he goes. Fans will wait outside of hotels for hours just to catch a glimpse of the Argentine forward, and reporters will set up cameras to make sure that people at home can watch him move all the time.

The harsh welcome in Monterrey was too much for Messi, Inter Miami
The harsh welcome in Monterrey was too much for Messi, Inter Miami.

It was the same when Inter Miami CF flew to Mexico on Tuesday for their first professional game outside of the US and Canada. They played Monterrey in the second leg of their Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinal. In the end, Miami lost 3-1 (5-2 overall) and lost to the five-time winners in the quarterfinals. However, the spectacle will be remembered for a long time.

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After the first game, which was played at Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and was won 2-1 by Monterrey, there was likely to be trouble between the two teams and their fans. Rayados (Spanish for “The Striped-Ones”) fans took over Miami’s field because the MLS couldn’t sell out. At the end of the game, Messi and head coach Gerardo Martino went up to the judge to complain about some calls. This made Rayados’ staff respond by attacking them. Asst. boss Nico Sanchez of Monterrey said in a voice note that Messi and Martino were both out of line. “Something that if we had done, they would’ve sent us to hell.”

A source told ESPN that Messi, who missed the first game because of a leg injury, stormed into the Monterrey locker room in a bad mood. Because of this, Monterrey complained to Concacaf, and Miami was fined “an undisclosed amount for lack of security in their stadium.”

Read More: Joan Laporta tells the truth about Lionel Messi’s decision to choose Inter Miami over a return with Barcelona.

The fight made the competition stronger than anyone thought possible. Before Tuesday’s game, local TV stations kept an eye on the Inter Miami team plane and showed pictures of it in the air during the morning news. Reporters swarmed different exits of General Mariano Escobedo international airport in Monterrey to try to get the best picture of Messi’s arrival. For security reasons, parts of Diego Rivera Avenue, which runs up to the team’s Quinta Real hotel, were closed off completely. Traffic had to be redirected, and bus schedules were changed. It was hard to get into the hotel because security asked for proof of a ticket just to get into the walkway that led to the lobby.

As a safety measure, the national guard was stationed outside the hotel, and more than 150 fans stood in queue behind the railings across the street on a 97-degree day.

The whole city took extra safety precautions. Monterrey’s media manager revealed that there would be around 1,400 extra security staff, up from 800 at a normal game.

A lot of people waved at the Inter Miami team bus as it pulled up to the hotel, but some people gave them the finger with both hands. A child carried a sign that said “Without help, Messi.” This was a reference to the idea that the refs favour Inter Miami. On the end of one of the flags, there was a picture of Messi and the words “Corrupc10n Mafia,” with the World Cup prize in place of the “I.”

Read More: Lionel Messi, who has won the Ballon d’Or seven times and won the World Cup, has been signed by Inter Miami CF.

When they got inside the Estadio BBVA, things got worse, and Monterrey’s head coach Fernando Ortiz made things worse. “We are Monterrey, and we are at home,” he told reporters on Tuesday before the game. “Let Messi be the one to worry about us.”

The stadium filled with Rayados shirts as soon as the doors opened at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday before the game, and all of a sudden, Ortiz’s words made sense. People in the BBVA felt like they were all in it together when they played Inter Miami. They waved blue-and-white flags and chanted. “A la bio, a la bao, a la bim bom ba, Monterrey, Monterrey, ra ra ra …” over and over.

When the team’s song came on, the cheers were so loud they were hurtful. A resounding “Monterrey, arriba Monterrey” could be heard, along with a Game of Thrones-themed tifo and an amazing light show. Then a mural that went all the way around the field.

When the speaker read out the starting eleven for the visiting team, the fans turned their attention to booing each player, and the noise got louder with each name before Messi’s. Any cheers for the Argentine would have been drowned out right away.

Read More: Without Messi, Inter Miami falls apart late and loses 2-1 to Monterrey in the Champions Cup.

For the first time since Messi got there, the Herons didn’t get a good welcome, and the Messi-related signs all over the pitch didn’t help. Fans started booing again every time the forward touched the ball until a Monterrey player could get it back. People in the crowd would turn up the music when Messi missed a goal.

Someone sitting to the left of the press box yelled, “Break Messi!” while someone else said, “Get the ball, he can’t take it!”

Just before Brandon Vázquez scored the first goal of the night, giving Monterrey the lead, there was a moment of silence in the stadium. With their attention on the game, fans stopped cheering and went into a rage when the ball hit the back of the net.

“Monterrey, Monterrey, Monterrey!” After that, the shouting started up again right on time.
The second goal, scored 58 minutes in, gave fans even more reason to cheer. It gave them faith and relief that this would be Monterrey’s night. The fans got up from their chairs and waved their thousands of flags in the air when Germán Berterame scored. A chorus of “Ole, Ole, Ole!” soon took over.

Read More: Campana’s Brilliance: Inter Miami Soars Past Sporting KC without Messi.

After being fouled just outside the box, Messi had a chance to tie the game. It was the right time for a free kick. It started cursing and chanting “Messi no puede” (“Messi can not” when the forward missed the chance) as soon as he put the ball in play.

After six minutes, Jesús Gallardo scored a third goal for Monterrey that ended any doubts about the outcome of the match. However, Diego Gómez scored late in the game in the 85th minute to give the U.S. team some comfort. It took a brave fan in section 138 to stand up and lift Inter Miami’s black-and-pink scarf to enjoy the goal. They were quickly told to “sit down, already” by other fans.

As for Inter Miami, Julian Gressel said after the game, “To be honest, we were kind of ready for this.” “What a beautiful atmosphere! The stadium was great, and the fans were great!” It looks like a good team, and tonight is the night to play. In the best races, you want to be with the best.We really wanted things to go our way, but they didn’t. You know that’s going to happen because it’s an away game. You don’t always get cheered for; when Leo is the star, it only happens in a few arenas. But tonight wasn’t a surprise. I was very disappointed with the outcome, but the mood was great, and I give Monterrey credit for making this happen.

The MLS stars had a hard time with all the stress on and off the pitch. The final score was 5-2, which means Miami is out of the quarterfinals. Monterrey, on the other hand, will go to the semifinals with the support of one of the most loyal fan groups in Concacaf.

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