- Lionel Messi was substituted in the 37th minute of Inter Miami’s win Wednesday
- Fans were immediately seen heading out of their seats when he left the field
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
A video of Inter Miami fans streaming for the exits immediately after Lionel Messi was substituted off on Wednesday night has gone viral on social media.
Miami fans were distraught to see the superstar leave the field with muscle fatigue after just 37 minutes, to be replaced by Robert Taylor.
The worrying change, to make matters worse, 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 caught on camera heading for the exits, leading to speculation that they were heading home with Messi no longer on the field.
That may not quite be the case, though, after other fans suggested they were simply trying to beat the queues for the food and drink stands, with halftime fast approaching.
Fans were caught on camera leaving their seats straight after Lionel Messi left the field
Messi looked distraught as he sat on the bench after being forced off with muscle fatigue
On social media, one wrote: ‘It gets busy at halftime for food,’ while another added: ‘I’m sure they were coming back.’
Elsewhere, one supporter had a more negative view of the clip, writing: ‘These are not Inter fans, these are Messi fans. I love the fact the GOAT plays for my hometown team but these people are the most annoying you’ll ever meet.
‘Paying $200+ to not even watch half the game because of a player is beyond stupid to me, doesn’t matter how much you have.’
From a purely soccer perspective, the news of Messi’s early exit will come as a huge blow to coach Tata Martino, especially with the US Open Cup final fast approaching.
Fans paid top dollar to be inside the stadium, but they only got 37 minutes of Messi gametime
Every time Miami play, the stadium is awash with pink Messi shirts, worn by fans young and old
The team have a huge MLS game against Florida rival Orlando City on Sunday, before they host Houston Dynamo in the cup final on Wednesday – less than a week from now.
If Miami are to lift a second trophy of the season – after their Leagues Cup success – they will need the likes of Messi and Alba firing on all cylinders.
On Wednesday night, it was a case of no Messi, no problem for Inter Miami, though, as they went on to demolish Toronto FC 4-0 and raise their playoff hopes once more.
As it stands, Miami are still 13th in the Eastern Conference, but have now leapfrogged New York Red Bulls and sit just five points off a Wildcard spot.