Miami Gardens, Fl – The festive atmosphere at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami was a preview of the globe’s largest party, the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. The month-long tournament captivates the world’s attention like no other event. It brings together a kaleidoscope of people and cultures all vying to raise the legendary cup.
South American powerhouse Argentina, with players on Europe’s best teams, matched up against Central America’s Honduras, a less experienced yet tough squad.
6️⃣4️⃣,4️⃣2️⃣0️⃣ fans. 🔥
— Hard Rock Stadium (@HardRockStadium) September 24, 2022
Lionel Messi, the biggest name in football, had the mostly Argentine crowd in a frenzy all night. The fans screamed MESSI! MESSI! all of them, Argentine and Honduran cheering for the legendary player.
Fifteen minutes into the game the genius of Messi was witnessed. He made a fantastic pass over the Honduras defense to Alejandro Gomez which led to the first Argentine goal scored by Lautaro Martinez.
THE PASS BY LIONEL MESSI! Great goal and it's 1-0 Argentina.pic.twitter.com/H1KXD8iAJo
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) September 24, 2022
Messi would score Argentina’s second goal from the penalty spot, softly placing the ball in the corner of the net as Honduras goalie Luis Lopez dove towards the opposite corner. The stadium erupted, and the Argentine fans danced and chanted vociferously.
The legend would score Argentina’s final goal off a Honduras error on defense. Messi magically chipped a loose ball over the goalkeeper to put the final 3-0 score for the match. The fans came for Messi, and he gave them a performance worthy of the greatness they came to see.
This goal from Messi 🇦🇷🍿 @ESPNFC
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 24, 2022
World Cup Preview 2026
Hard Rock Stadium will be hosting World Cup games in 2026. Friday night’s match between Argentina and Honduras gave us a preview of what to expect.
Flags were everywhere, with spectators displaying proudly their countries’ colors. People of all ages, young and old in unison chanting and supporting their team.
Music playing, dancing, grills flaming, the party was on, and this was all way before the game began.
The beauty of the World Cup is that despite the cultural and language differences between some countries, the universal language of futbol brings everyone together. For a month, our contrast is celebrated and appreciated.
On the pitch, the enthusiasm is the same for the players. Performing on the most watched stage of any sport provides a trampoline towards stardom for many young players and an opportunity for a memorable exit for aging stars like Lionel Messi.
The passion is palpable, both from the players and spectators in games. A World Cup is a surreal experience, and if Friday night’s preview match was any indication, 2026 at Hard Rock Stadium is going to be epic.
Magical Messi put on a show against Honduras at Hard Rock Stadium 🏟 the GOAT 🐐 still has it .. tuning up for the World Cup with a brace ..Argentina 3- Honduras -0 pic.twitter.com/FW2XLRVzZr
— Xavier Guerrero (@XGLAVOZ) September 24, 2022
Photo | Luis Pabon