Lionel Messi’s debut withy inter Miami was everything fans hope for and much more

Lionel Messi’s American debut lived up to the occasion. And the greatest soccer player in the world made his presence felt in the most electric of fashions. 

Messi scored a goal on a free kick in the 94th minute of his Inter Miami debut, leading his new MLS team to a 2-1 victory over Liga MX team Cruz Azul in their Leagues Cup opener Friday night at DRV PNK Stadium.

Messi, ever the savvy veteran and soccer superstar, was fouled in the final minute, and rolled over on his stomach as he held his head. The foul was obvious.

And Messi’s left boot – which led Argentina to a World Cup and won seven Ballons d’Or as the world’s best men’s soccer player – seized the moment.

“What I saw was the goal,” Messi said in Spanish on Apple TV immediately after the game.

“I saw the goal. I knew that I had to score. It was the last play of the game and I wanted to score so we didn’t go to penalties.”

Messi brings even more star power to Miami: Kardashian, Lebron, Serena in stands

Messi did not start for Inter Miami, but entered in the 54th minute, much to the joy of a sellout crowd in attendance – including celebrities like LeBron James, Kim Kardashian and Serena Williams.

Cruz Azul’s Uriel Antuna tied the game in the 65th minute with a strike that grazed the goalie’s hands into the net, spoiling Inter Miami’s 1-0 halftime lead thanks to Robert Taylor’s goal in the 44th minute.

Messi felt some adversity in his first U.S. game, as a no-call fall and two offsides calls in the final minutes built some angst for the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star.

If both sides remained tied after 90 minutes, the game would have been decided by penalty kicks.

Instead, Messi took over.

“It looks absolutely normal, but it’s not,” Inter Miami coach Tata Martino said. “We’re speaking about the GOAT.”

In the final seconds of his first game, it finally sunk in.

Messi called game in his first game.

And now, the hype only grows as his venture into American soccer is well underway.

Messi’s goal sends fans into frenzy, game-winner for Inter Miami

Messi’s goal hit the left side of the net above the goalkeeper’s reach – just as it was supposed to – causing the announced crowd of more than 22,000 people to celebrate into the night.

Messi Mania is officially live and well.

And actually happening in South Florida and America as a whole.

The greatest player in the world chose this team, and this city and this soccer league to continue his legendary career.

After years of Messi to Inter Miami speculation and intrigue, years of asking whether the world’s greatest soccer player might join MLS, it just felt surreal when it finally happened. Even after the initial announcement, the photoshopped jersey photos, the extravagant introduction, the fans stopping him in the street leading to his new pitch, and a viral trip to a Publix grocery store, it still didn’t feel real. Lionel Messi made the most of his Major League Soccer debut, scoring a jaw-dropping goal on a free kick in the 94th minute to lead Inter Miami to a 2-1 victory over LIGA MX team Cruz Azul. Buy Weed Online, Buy Marijuana Online, Buy Cannabis Online

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