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Florida, July 22 – Inter Miami CF fans witnessed history in the making as Lionel Messi made his long-awaited debut in the first match of Leagues Cup 2023 in a thrilling encounter, here on Friday night.
The Argentine maestro not only graced the pitch in the club’s colors but also left an indelible mark, clinching a last-minute free-kick to secure a remarkable win against LIGA MX side Cruz Azul, reports ‘leaguescup.com’.
As the final whistle approached, the tension was palpable, with both teams locked in a hard-fought battle. Messi’s entrance into the game brought an electric atmosphere, and fans held their breath in anticipation of witnessing his magic on American soil.
With just moments remaining on the clock, fate seemed to favour the former Barcelona and PSG player when he stepped up for the set-piece.
“I knew I had to score, it was the last play of the game and I had to score, so we didn’t go to penalties,” Messi was quoted as saying. It was evident that the weight of the moment did not deter the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, as he confidently stepped up to take the free-kick.
“It’s so exciting tonight for our fans. All of these people that have come down here to see Leo just step on the pitch, let alone just do what he’s done,” expressed a delighted David Beckham, co-owner of Inter Miami CF. “It’s a dream come true for everybody in this stadium and everybody around this country to see Leo step into the MLS and perform, and I don’t have many words for that.”
“For us, it was very important to get this win because it’s a new tournament, and it’s going to give us confidence moving forward,” Messi commented, reflecting on the significance of the victory in group South 3.
Cruz Azul 1 (Uriel Antuna 65′) – Inter Miami 2 (Robert Taylor 44′, Lionel Messi 90+4′)