Matuidi wants World Cup spirit for Miami playoff chase

Blaise Matuidi will summon inspiration from France's 2018 World Cup triumph to help Inter Miami from ending their debut Major League Soccer season in failure.

The French midfielder certainly knows all about monumental, decisive matches after memorably helping Didier Deschamps' side win the World Cup in Russia two years ago.

Now, with David Beckham's franchise facing two must-win games against Toronto on Sunday and then at home to fellow strugglers FC Cincinnati next weekend, Matuidi will need to call on all his big match experience to secure a playoff berth.

Following an MLS announcement Thursday that points-per-game will determine playoff berths, Miami have slipped out of the postseason qualification zone and with 10th placed Chicago having played one fewer, their destiny is out of their hands.

It means Matuidi and his team-mates have little margin for error if they are to have any chance of extending their season.

The 33-year-old midfielder said the final two games of the regular season would be like playing back-to-back finals.

"It's an experience that is different from something like the World Cup final yet similar and I will take what I learned into these matches," Matuidi said.

"They are finals for us but we have to stay calm mentally and not add further pressure onto ourselves.

"We need to stay calm."

Matuidi is grateful former Juventus team-mate Gonzalo Higuain followed his lead and swapped Turin for South Florida.

"Gonzalo is an amazing player and he helps us with how we structure our play," he said.

"We want to help and guide the younger players but I definitely made a good choice to come to MLS and I have adapted well. At the start the team was in a difficult moment but we are still fighting. We have to enjoy this moment and we will be there until the end."

Beckham's co-owner, Jorge Mas, spoke bullishly before the start of the season about Inter Miami pushing for glory in their debut season.

But with the combination of a global pandemic, some questionable signings and manager Diego Alonso being hired just 62 days before the first game with most of the squad already signed, those lofty claims are now in serious jeopardy.

Alonso also has huge problems in defence with key central defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez suspended while Nicolas Figal and Andres Reyes are both ruled out with injury.

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