The Hollywood script writers might be on strike, but they could not have written a better script than what we saw in Miami last night.
With the clock ticking down on his debut, Lionel Messi produced an all-time Major League Soccer moments when he scored a 94th-minute free kick that will forever be played on highlight reels.
The left-footed strike came from atop the box, delivering a 2-1 win over Liga MX foe Cruz Azul to begin their Leagues Cup group stage. Simply, history was made Friday night at DRV PNK Stadium.
“To be honest, as soon as I saw the free kick given I thought: ‘This is the way it’s meant to end,'” co-owner David Beckham said postgame on MLS Season Pass.
“Especially when you’ve got players like Leo and Sergio [Busquets] on the pitch – that’s what they produce. It’s so exciting tonight for our fans. All of these people that have come down here to see Leo just step onto the pitch, let alone just do what he’s done.”
The Argentine superstar and seven-time Ballon d’Or winner formally signed with Miami a week ago, bringing over 800 career goals with him. And he hopes this golazo for the ages is just the start.
“Like I said in my introduction, I’m very happy to be here, with the team and my family,” Messi said, also debuting alongside Busquets.
“We’re very happy with this choice. I want to thank the people once again. I hope we continue this way and that they keep joining us all year because for us this is very important.”
“It was like a movie that will play on repeat forever. “It’s almost like it was written … [Messi] is always there to write these stories.”
The win was huge for MLS’s worst team. The introduction of Messi and Busquets changed the game. They were a level or two above the Liga MX side Cruz Azul players. And Inter Miami striker Josef Martinez is going to score a lot of goals this season playing alongside those two.
But defensively Inter Miami are really poor, and that is what Martino will be focused on between now and the restart of the MLS season if they are to have any hope of reaching the playoffs.