Lionel Messi lifts Inter Miami to First Ever MLS League Cup Championship
Imagine if Michael Jordan in his prime, had come to the Miami Heat when the team was new to the NBA and led them to a world title upon his arrival. That's pretty much what happened to the Inter Miami team when it acquired the best footballer in history in his prime.
Lionel Messi has become the most decorated player in football history with his first trophy in America, and you get the feeling it won’t be the last he lifts with Inter Miami.
No import in American sports history has arrived with quite the same hype as the 36-year-old.
Major League Soccer has had a number of star signings over the years, who have all ranged from underwhelming to pretty good, but none of them have quite lived up to their billing by instantly making mincemeat of the opposition quite like Messi.
Lionel Messi Leads Inter Miami To First Ever Trophy After Epic Penalty-Shootout Win In Leagues Cup Final. Inter Miami lifted a trophy for the first time in the club's history on Saturday night. A 1-1 draw with Nashville in the Leagues Cup final was followed by an epic penalty shootout, which Miami won 10-9. He also claimed the tournament’s individual awards for top scorer and best player, naturally.
Lionel Messi has yet to taste defeat with Inter Miami, winning five of his six matches with the club, and advancing through to the next round of Leagues Cup action after the one draw against FC Dallas.
DRV PNK Stadium, (pronounced "drive pink"; formerly Inter Miami CF Stadium) is a soccer-specific stadium/football in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Built on the site of the former Lockhart Stadium, the 21,000-seat stadium is the home pitch of Inter Miami CF of Major League Soccer and its MLS Next Pro reserve side Inter Miami CF II. DRV PNK Stadium opened in 2020 as an interim venue for Inter Miami CF until the completion of the proposed Freedom Park stadium.
The stadium is the primary headquarters for the team and its youth academy, in addition to further training grounds.
MY MIAMI MESSAGE
The debate about Messi's success in a league that is structurally inferior to the premier legue competiton has been elevated, but most fans and observers note that Messi will run rings around most teams in ANY league. he's just that good and when you look at the playback of his numerous goals, he simply makes it look so easy. He always has.
With both clubs playing for their first ever trophy since joining MLS in 2020, it was Inter Miami’s captain Messi who opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, curling in a sensational left-footed strike past a wall of defenders and into the top left corner of the goal to put the team ahead 1-0 at Geodis Park in Tennessee.
In the second half, Nashville drew the match level when Fafa Picault knocked in a header off a corner kick in the 57th minute that deflected off Inter Miami’s Benjamin Cremaschi and Drake Callender before going into the goal.
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Penalties went about how you’d expect. Both teams traded outstanding takes and a couple of saves until it came down to the two goalkeepers. Miami’s Drake Callender blasted his penalty past Nashville’s Elliot Panicco and then saved Panicco’s attempt to give Inter Miami their first trophy.
After scoring a stunning game-winner in his debut, the team has remained undefeated, winning a club record seven straight matches in the competition culminating with the trophy winning tilt on Saturday. On their journey to the club’s first title, Inter Miami won four of its seven matches in the tournament by multiple goals.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi finished the tournament with 10 goals in seven matches since joining the team.
On an individual level – with the Leagues Cup victory – Messi captured the 44th trophy of his career, becoming the most decorated men’s footballer in the sport’s history, according to ESPN.
The Leagues Cup, an annual tournament between MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX, was expanded this year to include all teams in each league.
Messi is perhaps the greatest passer of a ball we have ever seen, one of the best free kick takers, one of the best controllers of a match, now surely one of the best leaders and captains, one of the best team players and one of the most consistent players to have graced a pitch. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Messi's game is his scoring ability. He has scored over 700 goals throughout his career, which is a remarkable achievement. Messi is a creative finisher and is able to score from a variety of positions on the field. Lionel Messi is the best men's soccer player of all time. Winning the World Cup cemented that part of his legacy but he never really needed it. The same applies to the new Leagues Cup, with more milestones on the horizon.