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22nd Jul 2023

American dream for Lionel Messi as he delivers most extraordinary debut

Rory Fleming

Lionel Messi

Cometh the hour, cometh the man…

Lionel Messi added yet another iconic moment to his storied career on Friday night as he made his debut for Inter Miami.

The seven time Ballon d’Or winner signed for the franchise owned by David Beckham this summer following a rift in his relationship with the PSG hierarchy.

Rejecting moves to the burgeoning Saudi Arabian league, the World Cup winner chose the Floridian paradise as the next stop in his glittering football career.

Coming on as a second half substitute against Mexican side Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup, Messi stole the show with a stoppage time free-kick to secure a 2-1 victory for his new side.

Lionel Messi delivers yet another iconic moment:

Speaking after the game, Messi told reporters that;

“What I saw was the goal. I saw the goal and I knew that I had to score”.

“It was the last play of the game and I wanted to score so it wouldn’t go to penalties”.

Joining Messi at Inter Miami is his former Barcelona coach Tata Martino, who just recently succeeded Phil Neville.

Lionel MessiMessi mania has swept the city of Miami. (Credit: Getty Images)

Having previously won an MLS title at Atlanta, its hoped that Martino knowledge of the league coupled with Messi’s talent can help drag Miami from bottom of the table to play-off contenders.

Martino himself reflected on Messi’s contribution after the game, saying;

“It’s a move that we have seen before”.

Messi’s on-pitch heroics were not the only story of the night though, with Messi mania sweeping across the States.

A raft of celebrities made the journey to the DRV PNK Stadium to witness the Argentine great in action.

Those snapped in the crowd included the likes of LeBron James, Serena Williams and Kim Kardashian.

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