This was it. The moment that Inter Miami supporters had been waiting for ever since Messi announced his move to Major League Soccer; the night that co-owners David Beckham and Jorge Mas had been dreaming of since before their team had even played a match; the day, if you believe the promises, that soccer in the United States changed forever. It couldn’t have been more perfectly primed.
MailOnline reported that with Inter Miami tied 1-1 with Cruz Azul, Messi took a couple of steps and sent a 25-yard effort towards goal. It was virtually the final kick of this Leagues Cup opener. It curled over the wall, under the bar and into the net. Cue carnage: fireworks lit up the Florida sky and down below, Messi was lost in a hurricane of pink jerseys and noise and emotion as 21,000 supporters lost their minds. Among them? LeBron James, Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian and Beckham. The co-owner’s eyes had soon glazed over.
Maybe, just maybe, Messi’s arrival might just change things, after all. As starts go? Oh my.
Tickets for the opening night of this tournament – involving teams from MLS and Liga MX – cost barely $30 a few weeks ago. By Sunday night, they were supposedly going for six figures. Messi, meanwhile, is set to pocket between $50-60million every year at Inter Miami. But on night one, the greatest of all time provided yet another priceless memory of a glorious career. He had only been on the field for 40 minutes.