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Messi dazzles in Inter Miami debut with stunning free kick

Messi dazzles in Inter Miami debut with stunning free kick

Lionel Messi made a sensational debut for Inter Miami on Thursday night, scoring a spectacular free kick in the dying moments of the game to give his team a 2-1 win over Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup.

Messi, who joined the MLS club earlier this week after leaving Barcelona, came off the bench in the 54th minute and made an immediate impact with his skill and creativity.

He had several chances to score before he finally found the net in the 94th minute, curling a 25-yard strike into the top corner to send the sold-out crowd at DRV PNK Stadium into a frenzy.

“It was a very special night for me, for the club, for the fans,” Messi said after the game. “I’m very happy to be here and to start this new adventure with a win and a goal.”

Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham, who was among the celebrities in attendance, praised Messi’s performance and said it was a historic moment for the club and the league.

“This is such a moment for this country, it’s such a moment for this league and it’s a very proud moment for us,” Beckham said. “As soon I saw the free kick given, I thought this is the way it’s meant to win, especially when you have players like Leo and Sergio (Busquets) on the pitch.”

Busquets, another former Barcelona star who joined Inter Miami along with Messi, assisted Rodolfo Pizarro for the opening goal in the eighth minute. Cruz Azul equalized in the 65th minute through Jonathan Rodriguez, setting the stage for Messi’s heroics.

Inter Miami will face Atlanta United on Tuesday in their next Leagues Cup group stage match, where Messi could make his first start for his new club.

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