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Stepping into Lionel Messi's shoes: Inter Miami need Facundo Farias to show his class to keep MLS playoff dream alive

Farias Messi Inter Miami gfxGetty/GOAL

For Inter Miami, and just about anyone else that would be lucky enough to have him, there's no replacing Lionel Messi. The proof is right there for all to see. Before Messi: 11 games without a win. Since Messi arrived: 11 games unbeaten, with one trophy and another potentially on the way. You can't do much better than that, can you?

This weekend, though, for the first time since his era-defining arrival, Inter Miami will be without their star man. Messi has returned to Argentina to lead the World Cup holders into qualification for the next edition of the tournament. And so, for the first time, Inter Miami will have the challenge, or maybe the opportunity, of proving that they are more than just Messi when they host Sporting KC.

It will be a challenge, for sure, but not one Miami are ill-equipped to handle. Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are still in South Beach and ready to contribute, as are mainstays like DeAndre Yedlin and Kamal Miller.

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Replacing Messi isn't a one-man job, and there isn't one player that will be asked to take on the full responsibility of replacing him. Still, with Messi gone, this does seem like the time the club can truly unleash their other new Argentinian attacker, the one that could very well be the future of this club.

Facundo Farias, step right up. With Messi gone, now's your time to shine.