In the last moments of the game, Lionel Messi skillfully drew a foul just 25 yards away from the goal. Anticipation heightened as he prepared to take the free kick. With remarkable precision, his strike sailed into the top left corner, igniting a wave of euphoria among the spectators.
Following the accomplishment, Messi jubilantly dashed towards the right corner of the pitch, extending his arms in celebration. Subsequently, he proceeded to the sidelines on the opposite end where he warmly embraced his loved ones in a heartfelt hug.
According to a translation during the broadcast, Messi expressed his determination to score on the final play of the game in order to avoid going to penalties.
Securing this victory was a paramount achievement for us, considering the significance of this nascent tournament. It will undeniably bolster our confidence and propel us towards future success.
|Soccer Football – Leagues Cup – Group J – Inter Miami v Cruz Azul – DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States – July 21, 2023 Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi in action. Photo: Reuters|
The sold-out crowd included esteemed individuals such as four-times NBA champion LeBron James, tennis icon Serena Williams, and reality television star Kim Kardashian. Amidst great excitement, Messi made his entrance as a second-half substitute to a thunderous applause, with Miami leading 1-0.
Lionel Messi is an esteemed athlete who captivated the audience when he entered the game in the 54th minute. As he donned the captain’s armband on his left arm, he skillfully controlled the ball, thrilling the crowd with his every touch.
The recipient of the prestigious Ballon d’Or award on seven occasions wasted no time in leaving his mark on the game. He effortlessly evaded multiple defenders from Cruz Azul and spearheaded an attack from the right flank, showcasing his exceptional skill set. This was just one of many scoring opportunities that he successfully engineered throughout the match.
|Soccer Football – Leagues Cup – Group J – Inter Miami v Cruz Azul – DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States – July 21, 2023 Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their second goal. Photo: Reuters|
“Dream come true”
During the match, a collision occurred between Messi and a Cruz Azul player inside the penalty area, causing the former to fall to the ground. Despite the appeals from Messi’s team and fans for a penalty kick, the referee swiftly dismissed their claims and signaled with his finger, thus denying the Argentine an opportunity for a spot kick.
In the 89th minute, the 36-year-old player skillfully created an opportunity that seemed to secure the winning goal. However, Martinez, who successfully tapped the ball into the net, was ultimately deemed offside.
However, Lionel Messi, who triumphed in leading Argentina to World Cup victory in Qatar only seven months ago, was given another opportunity to showcase his talent.
“As soon as I saw the free kick given I thought this is the way it’s meant to end,”
Beckham expressed his excitement about the match, particularly highlighting the presence of Leo on the pitch and his exceptional performance.
|Soccer Football – Leagues Cup – Group J – Inter Miami v Cruz Azul – DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States – July 21, 2023 Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi scores their second goal from a free kick. Photo: Reuters|
“It is an absolute delight for everyone in this stadium as well as individuals across the nation to witness the arrival of Leo to the MLS and witness his outstanding performances. There are simply no words to adequately express the overwhelming emotions that it evokes.
Lionel Messi made his Miami debut on the same date, 16 years later, when David Beckham made his first appearance for the Major League Soccer team LA Galaxy.
The excitement surrounding Messi’s presence in South Florida has escalated to a high level, with local restaurants presenting food and drink creations in his name, and various murals featuring his image now adorning the streets of Miami.
|Soccer Football – Leagues Cup – Group J – Inter Miami v Cruz Azul – DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States – July 21, 2023 Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates. Photo: Reuters|
This past week has been filled with excitement for Messi, as his arrival in MLS marks a significant enhancement to the stature of soccer in the United States. This is particularly meaningful as the country is set to co-host the 2026 World Cup alongside Mexico and Canada.
Messi has signed a 2-and-a-half-year contract with Miami and the deal was officially announced last Saturday. The following day, he was introduced to the club’s supporters at a glamorous welcome party, and on Tuesday he participated in his inaugural full training session with the team.
Inter Miami will be concluding the two-game group stage on Tuesday as they host Atlanta United. They have high hopes of advancing to the knockout stages of the Leagues Cup, a prestigious World Cup-style tournament that showcases all teams from MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX.