Leagues Cup: Messi wins the title with Inter Miami
Lionel Messi is triumphant again. The world champions from Argentina lead Inter Miami to their first title in a month. David Beckham raves about “amazing nights in pink”.
The world champions from Argentina led the bottom of the table in Major League Soccer to the cup title within a month and inspired American football at lightning speed. “I’m really happy about the first title in the club’s history. The work and commitment have paid off. Hopefully this is just the beginning,” Messi wrote on Instagram after the 10-9 penalty thriller in the League Cup final against Nashville SC.
The scenes of worship and the title ceremony with confetti and huge fireworks were somewhat reminiscent of Messi’s World Cup coronation last December. And his teammates paid homage to the 36-year-old. “We have developed a good team spirit, we work hard – and then we have Leo who makes the difference because he is the best player in the world,” said team-mate Sergio Busquets.
Messi shines in the final
In the Nashville final, Messi was again the most striking figure. With another dream goal, he initially put Miami in the lead, in the XXL penalty shoot-out he converted right at the beginning. After 21 more penalties, the drama was over and the first trophy for the Florida Beckham club was perfect. The co-owner, who was instrumental in bringing Messi to the United States this summer, raved about “incredible nights in pink” – the club’s colour.
“It was a very special evening, not just for our club, but also for the fans, the players, the families and everyone who was with us on this journey,” said the 48-year-old Beckham, who also remembered the difficult times of the engagements that have lasted since 2014. These should be over with the arrival of Messi as best as possible. The superstar’s record in the first month is promising: Leagues Cup title, top scorer with ten goals and the honor of being named player of the tournament.
But Messi should not only deliver in terms of sport, but also become a kind of ambassador for football three years before the 2026 World Cup in the USA, Mexico and Canada. In the USA, this is often overshadowed by the other major sports leagues NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB. In Nashville, the rush for final tickets was huge. Even the cheapest of the 30,109 seats cost several hundred dollars. And Messi is aware of his role. “There are all the prerequisites for top football here,” he told ESPN before the final. It’s time to take the next step.
Not only the first XXL World Cup with 48 teams awaits in the USA, but also the Copa America in 2024. “It’s an ideal moment to grow. There are important competitions coming up in this country,” said Messi. He himself could play for Argentina at the age of 37 and 39, an end in sky blue and white is not in sight even after Qatar’s World Cup triumph. He does not regret the move from Paris Saint-Germain to Florida. “We’re enjoying the city and the reactions from the fans, which are exceptional.” He’s just grateful.