Lionel Messi was instrumental for Inter Miami on Saturday night as the team beat Nashville SC on penalties to lift the inaugural Leagues Cup title.
Messi’s early lone goal was all the team needed to boost its morale, leading up to penalties.
Inter Miami beat Nashville 10-9 on penalties as both sides finished 1-1 in regulation time.
The Argentina playmaker also converted his penalty during the shootout to crown his team with the victory.
This win for Miami comes just 36 days after Messi joined the team, which was previously labelled the worst in US Major League Soccer (MLS).
Messi scored 10 goals in seven matches to also claim the golden boot, as this win is the former PSG attacker’s 44th trophy.
Messi gave Miami the lead on 23 minutes in characteristic fashion, bending into the top corner from the edge of the area. Fafa Picault restored parity as both teams had to settle the final via penalties where Drake Callander, Miami goalkeeper, stole the spotlight.
The 25-year-old American scored the 10th spot-kick before saving the next to send the Herons into wild jubilation.
The Leagues Cup, previously an annual friendly tournament created in 2019, was this year adopted by CONCACAF, the continental football governing body, as a regional competition involving US and Mexico clubs.
Inter Miami’s triumph is their first-ever trophy since the David Beckham-led franchise was created in 2018.
Watch Highlights of the match below
Dream come true
Meanwhile, Kanyi Daily reported that David Beckham, co-owner of Inter Miami had described Messi’s joining the club as a dream come true.
He said, “Ten years ago when I started my journey to build a new team in Miami, I said that I dreamt of bringing the greatest players in the world to this amazing city. Players who shared the ambition I had when I joined LA Galaxy to help grow football in the USA and to build a legacy for the next generation in this sport that we love so much,” said Beckham.
“Today, that dream came true. I couldn’t be prouder that a player of Leo’s calibre is joining our club, but I am also delighted to welcome a good friend, an amazing person, and his beautiful family to join our Inter Miami community,” Beckham said via The Mirror.