SPORTS

Lionel Messi excels once again in his first start for Inter Miami and scores twice in a 4-0 victory over Atlanta

One moment from Lionel Messi’s debut stands out in particular in the mind of Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas: the moment when Messi ran to hug his family after scoring the game-winning free kick and ushering in a new era for the team and Major League Soccer.

That was for the supporters. This neighborhood is starving,” Mas stated.


The influence that one player—the right player—can have on a whole team was shown by Messi’s subsequent performance on Tuesday night against Atlanta United in the Leagues Cup.

Messi put up three goals in two games with two goals and an assist in his debut start for Miami. The first such advantage in club history was held by Inter Miami at halftime, with a score of 3-0.

Miami eventually won 4-0. Many people in the audience were wearing Messi’s No. 10 shirt as he left the game in the 78th minute to a standing ovation.

There will be a period of football for this nation before and after Messi, according to Mas.

Messi received a ball from his old Barcelona colleague Sergio Busquets in the eighth minute, charged forward, blasted a shot against the right post, and then tapped in the rebound. Messi then gave Miami a 2-0 lead in the 22nd minute after receiving a ball from Robert Taylor.

In Miami’s first Leagues Cup game against Cruz Azul of Mexico, Messi came off the bench in the 54th minute. And when the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and World Cup champion for Argentina chose to take his skills to MLS, he gave supporters the moment they had dreamed for. In extra time, Messi scored the game-winning free kick in front of an estimated 21,000 spectators.

Messi was given the captain’s armband by Deandre Yedlin when he arrived on Friday, but he wore it into Tuesday’s game barely below his right shoulder.

Gregore, a midfielder, served as the team’s captain until breaking his foot in March.

Opportunities presented themselves for other Miami players because Messi, who rightfully commanded most of the focus from Atlanta’s defense. Following a Messi assist, Taylor scored in the 44th and 53rd minutes to make it 4-0.

The former captain of Barcelona had arrived while walking hand in hand with DJ Khaled’s youngster.

As Messi was leaving the field, a supporter entered. The supporter ran all the way to Miami’s bench. As Messi approached Miami coach Tata Martino, security personnel focused on him. After that, the supporter was led off the field.

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