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Lionel Messi scores late winner on Inter Miami debut | World News

Lionel Messi scored a dramatic goal in the 94th minute on his debut at new club Inter Miami.

The David Beckham-owned club beat Mexican team Cruz Azul with a minute to spare in the Leagues Cup.

Messi, regarded by many as one of the game’s greatest players, only joined the club a week ago, after two years of pursuance by Beckham.

The World Cup winner came off the bench as captain in the second half of the game at the DRV PNK stadium in Florida’s Fort Lauderdale to a capacity crowd of 21,000, which featured the likes of LeBron James and Serena Williams.

His goal came from a free kick in the game’s dying seconds from around 25 yards out, which sailed into the top left corner of the net.

After bagging his debut goal, he ran into the corner of the pitch before heading over to hug his family.

Speaking after the game through a translator, Messi said: “I knew I had to score, it was the last play of the game and I had to score, so we didn’t go to penalties.

“It was very important for us to get this win because it’s a new tournament, and it’s going to give us confidence moving forward.”

“As soon as I saw the free kick given I thought this is the way it’s meant to end,” Beckham said.

“It’s so exciting tonight for our fans. All of these people that have come down here to see Leo just step on the pitch, let alone just do what he’s done.

“It’s a dream come true for everybody in this stadium and everybody around this country to see Leo step into the MLS and perform, and I don’t have many words for that.”

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JULY 21: Inter Miami midfielder Lionel Messi (10) celebrates his goal in the second half with teammates during the Leagues Cup game between Cruz Azul and Inter Miami CF on Friday, July 21, 2023 at DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JULY 21: soccer great David Beckham looks on before the Leagues Cup game between Cruz Azul and Inter Miami CF on Friday, July 21, 2023 at DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
Image:
David Beckham at the Inter Miami stadium. Pic: AP

It was last Sunday when Messi was unveiled as an Inter Miami player by Beckham.

It is understood he will be paid in the region of $50m a year while he’s there.

Inter Miami is currently in last place in MLS as they grapple with an 11-game losing streak.

Messi previously played for FC Barcelona, and led Argentina to the World Cup this past December.

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