Lionel Messi has well and truly arrived into American soccer, with the Argentine superstar having wasted no time in making his presence felt since his headline-grabbing move from Paris Saint-Germain to Inter Miami was made official in July.
Messi is undoubtedly the biggest star in MLS, and almost certainly the biggest the league has ever seen, and therefore all eyes are going to be on him as he looks to lift Miami from towards the bottom of the table into playoff contenders and, eventually, title challengers.
The stars were out in Los Angeles on Sunday night. Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Ferrell, Selena Gomez, LeBron James, Jason Sudeikis, Tom Holland… all in the building to watch one man. There was even royalty in the house, with none other than Prince Harry in attendance for the show.
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And what a show it was. With some of the world’s most famous watching on, Messi showed once again why he’s the superstar of superstars, the celebrity that even other celebrities can’t help but marvel at.
The Argentine led Inter Miami to yet another statement victory, providing just a little bit more hope that maybe, somehow, Inter Miami can pull off this miracle run in MLS. Of Miami’s three goals, Messi assisted two of them as he continued to run the show for the Herons no matter who was on the end of it all.
His first assist was to Jordi Alba, his longtime friend and teammate. After receiving a pass from Sergio Busquets, Messi was able to turn and play in Alba, who scored his first MLS goal with ease; a strike scored in Hollywood, but made in La Masia. Barcelona fans will have seen that one before.
Leonardo Campana benefitted from Messi’s second assist, which saw the ex-Barca man break through the LAFC defense. With all eyes on Messi, Campana slipped in and Messi found him, of course.
It was a massive win for Miami, who took down the defending 2022 MLS Cup champions with relative ease. This was a huge test and, like nearly all those that came before it, Inter Miami passed with flying colors.
After suffering something of a setback against Nashville SC, Messi got right back to his brilliant best. Miami will have to survive without him for a bit as he heads to Argentina duty, but, whenever he is on the field for this team, Messi continues to create magic moment after magic moment in a way that even Hollywood can’t predict.