A Magical Moment In Time; Messi’s Debut For Inter Miami CF Was Mesmerizing

Messi Miami Debut

DRV PINK Stadium – Lionel Messi made his triumphant debut for Inter Miami CF on Saturday night, scoring a dazzling free-kick goal in the 94′ minute to lead the Herons to a 2-1 win over Mexican side Cruz Azul in Leagues Cup action.

Pregame 

Hours before game time, the vibe in the air was different; the energy was palpable. Rosa negra colors meshed with the blue and white of Cruz Azul and the celeste blue and white of the Argentinean flags and jerseys, creating a passion-filled kaleidoscope. Everyone came to see the Goat, Lionel Messi.

Kick Off

The Starting XI for Inter Miami CF did not include their newest additions, Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets, with Coach Tata Martino opting to bring them off the bench. Miami began in a 4-3-3 formation with Ian Fray, Sergeii Kryvtsov, Kamal Miller, and DeAndre Yedlin anchoring the backline. Dixon Arroyo, David Ruiz, and Benjamin Cremaschi manned the midfield. Robert Taylor, Leonardo Campana, and Robbie Robinson commanded the attack.

Cruz Azul dominated the majority of the first-half action with relentless attacks on Inter Miami’s goal, but the squad could not find the back of the net.

It would be Inter Miami scoring first via a Robert Taylor laser beam at the 44′ minute to put the Herons ahead 1-0. Robbie Robinson sent a scintillating switch over the Cruz Azul defense and onto Taylor, who cut into the box and whipped the ball into the back of the net. Until that point, Inter Miami had done little to deserve the lead.

Miami went into the half ahead on the scoreboard, but Cruz Azul had been the better side on the pitch. Less than ten minutes into the second half, the player everyone went to the stadium to see was subbed on. Lionel Messi made his official debut for Inter Miami at the 54′ minute, with Sergio Busquets and Josef Martinez joining him on the pitch.

It was immediately evident that we were in the presence of greatness; Messi stepped onto the pitch, and Inter Miami CF became a different team. The ball movement, the flair, and the dribbling were better, thanks to Lionel. Martinez and Busquets also provided huge sparks, with Busquets filtering balls through to Lionel while Josef made nice runs up top.

Uriel Antuna tied the score 1-1 at the 65′ minute with a low powerful shot that was too much for Drake Callender to handle. Jesus Dueñas sent in a nifty pass for Antuna, who turned and buried it.

Miami and Cruz Azul continued their back and forth, trying to get the game-winning goal, but just when penalty kicks seemed inevitable, a foul was called just outside the area, and Lionel Messi lined up to take the kick. It was the 94′ minute of the match; the crowd roared as if they knew something wonderful was about to happen, and it did. Messi happened.

Magical Messi mesmerized the Miami sellout crowd with a whip of his blessed left foot. Time seemed to stand still; it felt like deja vu. I knew that he would score, and I think everyone else there at the stadium at that moment felt the same way. Call it divine inspiration, but we all knew Lionel Andres Messi Cuccitini was going to make us all witnesses of his greatness and witnesses of one of the most epic moments in American fútbol history. The Goat is in America, and he plays fútbol for Inter Miami CF.

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