March 3, 2024

Lionel Messi: The first goal between Miami for the Argentine star in the victory over Cruz Azul

Messi won the Uefa Champions League four times with Barcelona

Argentina star Lionel Messi curled in a superb free kick on his Inter Miami debut to secure a 2-1 win against Mexican side Cruz Azul.

Messi, 36, scored in the fourth minute of extra time as his Major League Soccer team won the League Cup.

The 20,000 capacity crowd included celebrities such as basketball legend LeBron James, tennis legend Serena Williams and US TV star Kim Kardashian.

“We wanted to start like this by giving these people a win,” Messi said.

“We knew it was very important for us to start this championship in style to win. Fortunately we were able to do it in the end, and I’m very happy.”

Smoke bombs in Miami’s pink color were released behind the goal as the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale as some fans took to the pitch to celebrate Messi’s goal, before being led away by security.

It continued the party atmosphere that started on Sunday, when Messi was officially unveiled to fans in front of another capacity crowd in southern Florida.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner only trained with his teammates for the first time on Tuesday following his move to MLS following the end of his contract at Paris St-Germain.

Messi scored 32 goals in 75 games during a two-year spell with the French champions after leaving Barcelona, ​​and turned down lucrative offers from other countries to play in the United States.

It was the first time he had turned out for a non-European club, but he looked familiar as he and new team-mate and former Barca team-mate Sergio Busquets worked as part of a 54th-minute substitute triple.

Spanish defender Jordi Alba also after the change from Nou Camp, and will be available to play against Atlanta United in the League Cup on Tuesday.

The cup competition, between MLS teams and Mexico’s LIGA MX, gives Inter Miami, who are bottom of the MLS table without a win in 11 games, a fresh start.

Messi lived up to the Hollywood script after Robert Taylor’s opener for the home side was canceled out by Uriel Antuna.

Argentina’s World Cup winner Carlos Salcedo brought down a free-kick just outside the box in the dying seconds, in ideal range for his famous left foot.

And he delivered perfectly, curling the ball high to the right of Cruz Azul goalkeeper Andres Gudino and into the top corner.

“It is a great joy to get this first victory after our success in the league,” he said.

“It is important to start winning, beyond the fact that it is another championship, for confidence it is very good to get victories.”

More to follow.

Everything you need to know about your Premier League team flagBBC Sport banner header

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *