What could have been Lionel Messi’s biggest match with Inter Miami failed to raise spirits in South Beach after the team lost. It was their worst match against Monterrey.

The disappointing loss comes despite the drama with the LIGA MX powerhouse during this CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinal.

A much-discussed and reportedly aggressive locker room complaint was the subject of the first leg. The second leg saw Monterrey dismantle Messi and Inter Miami in an evening match in Guadalupe, Mexico.

On Wednesday night, at BBVA Stadium, Inter Miami’s chances of winning a second championship in the Messi era came to an abrupt halt after Monterrey drove the score up to 3-1. This included two early goals in the second half.

wUCRUaHflmQ5XndsP2gQEdbhYpC3ICGm9U2HL4TZ Pnb0BonhbNOssu4S LU0HXMPwYup9Hk5nXgRi19G0XL9rbWLsgvbODI66OATl UA5B8jIsEnOhiS0Hv2tiTBrHs3uTaZyfHZBZbiiMji3oU4U

With the win, Monterrey advances to the semifinals of the Champions Cup and will move forward to face the reigning MLS Cup Champion Columbus Crew. The Tigres UANL fell to The Crew after leading the match on Tuesday, making Columbus the only MLS team remaining.

Inter Miami coach Tata Martino said about the match, “Today’s defeat takes away our dream of being able to move forward and replicate what Columbus did yesterday in Monterrey.” He continued, “In this instance, the team with the best squad in Mexican soccer [won].”

Fans around the world are left wondering what’s next for Messi and Inter Miami after the Champions Cup loss. Both are likely to remain focused on Messi.

Most likely, Messi will join Argentina for two warm-up matches before Copa America begins. The two warm-up matches will be held on June 9 in Chicago and June 14 in Landover, Maryland.

Inter Miami will be looking to make sure that Messi, 36, stays in prime shape without being overworked in preparation for Argentina. This could be Messi’s final time in a major international tournament.

Messi will captain the reigning Copa America and World Cup champions as the summer tournament begins. The first Copa America group that Argentina will play against is Canada; the match will be held on June 20 in Atlanta. Next, Argentina plays Chile at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on June 25 before facing Peru in Miami on June 29.

Inter Miami still has ten matches before Messi’s foreseen departure for Copa America.

In the meantime, fallout is still being felt from Wednesday’s loss to Monterrey in the second leg. Although Messi assisted on a header goal by Diego Gomez off a free kick, the score was too little too late, as it came in the 85th minute of the match — well after the quarterfinal was already decided.

Goalie Drake Calendar’s clearance allowed former MLS standout Brandon Vasquez to find the back of the net in the 31st minute of the game and Inter Miami was quickly down 1-0.

German Berterame’s score in the 58th minute of the match added pressure, but it was sealed by Jesus Gallardo’s header goal in the 64th minute early in the second half.

Coach Martino stated, “I believe what took us out of the game was the second goal 15 minutes into the second half. At that time, we were eliminated.”