Despite being over 36 years old, Lionel Messi displays a level of play akin to that of a youthful athlete. This vitality has been particularly evident since his arrival at Inter Miami.
At this stage of his career, he is even surpassing records set during his prime years. Notably, on this occasion, the superstar scored the longest goal of his illustrious professional career.
Maiden Tournament Final Appearance for Inter Miami...
In a remarkable turn of events, Inter Miami secured a convincing 4-1 victory over Philadelphia Union in the semi-finals of the Leagues Cup, held at Subaru Park.
This achievement marks the team's first-ever appearance in the finals of a major tournament. Messi's goal during the match stands as a testament to his exceptional skills and accomplishments, overshadowing his previous achievements.
The Herons solidified their victory during the first half, with Jose Martínez, Messi, and Jordi Alba contributing to Inter Miami's commanding 3-0 lead at halftime.
David Ruiz sealed the victory with the fourth goal in the 84th minute, while Alejandro Bedoya managed to narrow the gap with a goal for Philadelphia.
Unbelievable scoring record in the history of Inter Miami....
Inter Miami's offensive prowess has been markedly enhanced since Messi's arrival, with the team having scored an impressive 21 goals in six matches. In contrast, prior to Messi's involvement, the team had only managed to score 22 goals over the course of 22 Major League Soccer matches.
Messi's pivotal contribution came in the 20th minute of the match when he netted the team's second goal. Demonstrating his trademark agility and control, Messi skillfully received the ball from Joseph Martinez and advanced into the opponent's territory.
Positioned on his left was Robert Taylor, a potential passing option. However, Messi elected to take a swift shot from a distance of 32 meters. The resulting blistering shot was met by goalkeeper Andre Blake but proved too powerful to be stopped.
Longest distance goal in the career of Lionel Messi....
Argentinian media outlet TYC Sports reported that this goal now stands as Messi's longest career goal, edging out the previous record by a mere 30 centimeters. In 2018, Messi scored from a distance of 31.7 meters while wearing a Barcelona jersey, albeit from a free-kick situation.
The opposition, Philadelphia Union, posed a formidable challenge.
Occupying the third spot in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference points standings, they had suffered just one loss in their last 28 matches.
Inter Miami, however, managed to triumph over this strong adversary. Even if they had faced defeat, a chance for redemption existed in the third-place match, ensuring a spot in the Champions League by virtue of reaching the final.
Maiden Appearance in Concacaf Champions League for Inter Miami...
In the midst of these accomplishments, the Concacaf Champions League extended a warm welcome to the fledgling Inter Miami team via their social media channels.
Inter Miami, led by Messi, has secured a berth in this prestigious event for the upcoming season. This achievement is akin to witnessing a humble chariot vendor suddenly become a prominent figure.
The ongoing season has proven to be a dream come true for Inter Miami. Despite occupying the lower end of the points table in the 29-team Major Soccer League, their remarkable journey continues with their superhero Lionel Messi.
The season is beyond its midway point, making a top-five finish appear rather implausible. However, one avenue remained open—attaining a top-three position in the Leagues Cup. This achievement ensures participation in the 50-team Champions League for this season.
At post-match, Coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino expressed his satisfaction with the team's performance, stating.
"Our objective was to secure a spot in international competition for the next season, and we have successfully achieved that tonight. The most significant accomplishment was securing qualification for the Concacaf Champions Cup. Now, our focus shifts to preparing for victory in this tournament, which has instilled us with great motivation and confidence."- Tata Martino
As the dust settles, Inter Miami is poised to enter the Leagues Cup final on Saturday, presenting an opportunity to secure their first official piece of silverware for the first team.
The final showdown will see them face Nashville SC on the road, in what promises to be a thrilling contest.