Messi once again surprised fans in a 4-0 victory over Atlanta United on Tuesday nights at the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Along with Sergio Busquets, the two former Barcelona players impressed the fans, with Busquets firing a perfect pass over the Atlanta defense and scoring his first goal alongside Messi in the eighth minute.
Lionel Messi in turn struck back in the 22nd minute, scoring another goal along with the assist from Robert Taylor, who scored Inter Miami’s third goal and gave them a 3-0 halftime lead.
The final goal for Inter Miami was scored by Robert Taylor off an assist from Messi, who was substituted at the 78th minute.
“It was a good performance, and I’m pleased that we were able to make our fans happy. A very good game, and we took another step in the right direction,” Gerardo Martino, who is the coach of Inter Miami.
With this victory, Inter Miami advanced to round 32 of the Leagues Cup, where its next opponent is yet to be determined.
Messi and Busquets, from Barça to Inter Miami
However, this is not the first time that Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets have been on the pitch together, as they were on the same team for 13 years, until Messi moved to Paris Sant-Germain in 2021.
Busquets commented on how it felt to play with Messi again: “So many years playing together, so it’s very easy to play with him. I’m so happy to be next to him.”
Both players had shocked the world when they stared off an incredible win over Cruz Azul last Friday, with Messi scoring the final goal.
Gerardo Martino also said he was not surprised after seeing both players score the first goal.
“These two players are so good at what they do that they create space,” Martino said.
Right back DeAndre Yedlin also commented on how the arrival of both players positively impacted Inter-Miami.
“Since those two got here, the spirit has changed,” said Miami right back, DeAndre Yedlin.
“Obviously, the guys are very excited. But I think just their presence gives everyone more confidence. And I think also the teams we’re playing now have a little bit of fear in their eyes. When those two are on the field, you know you’re in for a tough game.”
Inter Miami’s future
Miami and Atlanta play in the Leagues Cup, a World Cup-like tournament featuring MLS and Liga MX teams.
According to experts, Messi could make his official debut in an MLS home game against Charlotte, scheduled for August 20.
Another Barcelona player who was set to make his debut with Inter Miami was Jordi Alba, who had signed on July 20 but was not called up for a match against Atlanta.
With information from ESPN