For one rainy night, soccer fans got their wish as the World Soccer Masters event in Sun Life Stadium paired some of the game's brightest stars on one field. The friendly match was organized to raise money for Messi's charity, which benefits children around the world. But the Ballon d'Or winner wasn't the only highly-anticipated player at the event.
Drobga, Diego Milito and Ezequiel Lavezzi were just some of the names that highlighted Messi's Black Masters team while Suarez, Falcao, Edison Cavani and Clarence Seedorf suited up for the Red Stars. Even United States and Mexico internationals were involved with Guillermo Ochoa, Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu and Jozy Altidore on the Red Stars roster. Famed former international managers Fabio Capello and Dunga coached the two sides.
The conditions in Miami were terrible, with rain pouring down, but the players refused to use that as an excuse, putting on a show in a 7-7 draw. All-star games in soccer are rare, and prior to the match Drogba admitted that he was happy to benefit Messi's charity and play with some of the best players in the game.
"I think it's important. It's an honor for me to be here among all these players and all these important managers," said Drogba. "What [the game is] doing, it's very important to speak about because it supports kids.
"I encourage a lot people to do the same."
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Drogba arguably had the game's top finish as Lavezzi found the powerful striker on the right side of the goal with a precise low cross and the Ivorian blasted the ball past Ochoa in the 42nd minute. Messi ignited the play from deep in the midfield.
Another standout performance came from Liverpool forward Suarez. The Uruguayan was clearly trying to outshine Messi with two breathtaking goals and an assist.
But with very little defense being played, there was no denying Messi as he finished with three goals and two assists.
Additionally intriguing for the estimated 48,000 in attendance was seeing players from all different types of backgrounds mesh without much practice time. It was interesting to watch a powerful powerful player like Drogba handle the tiki-taka style of passing from Messi, Javier Mascherano and Lavezzi and not look out of sorts. The same could said about Suarez, who looked as dynamic as any player on the field without the shackles of Liverpool's struggling offense.
Though the match was a friendly, the game got heated towards the end with neither side wanting to lose. There were two penalties that came during stoppage time. Cavani and Ariel Ortega scored the spot kicks.
Brazilian legend Dunga was Messi's coach during the game and the normally defensive minded manager said that he wanted his players to wow the fans in the seats.
"This is a special match. With this type of events, we all win," Dunga said. "We want fans to watch with their mouths open at the wonderful plays that these great players are capable of making."
There were plenty of mouths agape on Saturday night.
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