Messi scores free-kick winner in Miami debut

Lionel Messi made a storybook introduction to life at Inter Miami, scoring the profitable purpose with a stoppage-time free kick after coming off the substitutes’ bench at a sold-out DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Friday.

On the ultimate play of the sport, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner stepped as much as the ball 25 yards out and located the highest nook along with his famed left foot to offer Miami a 2-1 win over Mexican aspect Cruz Azul within the Leagues Cup.

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Miami had lengthy focused Friday’s sport for Messi to make his debut for the MLS aspect following his blockbuster arrival on a free switch. He signed a 2½-year contract with Inter Miami that can pay him between $50 million and $60 million yearly.

Nevertheless, supervisor Gerardo “Tata” Martino had cautioned within the buildup to the match that each Messi and fellow new signing and former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets may not be match sufficient to play from the beginning after solely just lately getting back from trip following the tip of the European membership season final month.

Messi and Busquets entered Friday’s sport collectively within the 54th minute to a rapturous ovation from the estimated crowd of 21,000.

Spain worldwide Jordi Albathe third former Barcelona participant to hitch Miami this summer time, was not named within the squad after his signing was confirmed solely on Thursday.

Messi was launched to his new house followers on Sunday and educated for the primary time as a member of the membership Tuesday. On Friday, he arrived with the staff about two hours earlier than sport time, dressed within the staff colours with a pink T-shirt and black shorts. He stopped for just a few images and handshakes as he entered the tunnel resulting in the locker room.

He acquired a hug and shared just a few phrases with LeBron James — one other athlete who is aware of a factor or two about making a extremely celebrated transfer to Miami, after he joined the Warmth in 2010 and received his first two NBA titles in a four-year keep — on his option to the bench. Messi took his seat and watched his new staff begin his new period.

Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham was on the sector about three hours earlier than kickoff, taking a video along with his telephone as he scanned the empty seats. Messi jerseys have been stocked on the staff retailer contained in the stadium, and entrepreneurs have been promoting unofficial Messi jerseys on the highway resulting in the venue.

It was a gathering of GOATs at Messi’s debut match: James and Serena Williams have been there – like Messi in soccer, they’re within the dialog of “best of all time” with regards to the NBA and tennis. Music legends Gloria and Emilio Estefan have been there, as was Kim Kardashian, saying certainly one of her sons had a specific motive why he needed to attend.

“He is so excited to see Messi,” Kardashian stated.

Miami presently has the worst file in MLS, however the newly redesigned Leagues Cup, that includes each MLS and Liga MX staff, affords an opportunity for Messi & Co. to win fast silverware and declare certainly one of three locations out there in subsequent season’s Concacaf Champions League.

Info from The Related Press was used on this report.

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Revealed : 2023-07-22 13:16:35

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