Lionel Messi has garnered the attention of millions of fans ever since he joined the MLS side Inter Miami.
In their recent match against Orlando City on August 2nd, the Argentine superstar showcased his talent once again by scoring two goals, contributing to his team’s 3-1 victory.
Messi was appointed as the captain of Miami upon joining the team, and he has proven his worthiness ever since he donned the light pink shirt.
He has made a significant impact on his team in the MLS, scoring a winning free-kick in his debut and following it up with a brace in his second appearance.
Messi’s arrival has been crucial as his team are currently facing challenges.
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s performance against Orlando was undoubtedly Messi’s most impressive demonstration as captain so far.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or holder netted a brace from close range, helping Miami maintain their 100 percent winning record as the club had not won any of their previous 11 league games.
Messi opened the scoresheet seven minutes into kick-off
The kick-off was delayed by 95 minutes due to a thunderstorm. However, once the game started, Miami continued their strong performance from last week’s 4-0 win over Atlanta United by attacking with determination.
Robert Taylor, the talented Finnish winger, skillfully maneuvered his way from the left flank and executed a precise chip pass into the path of on-running Messi.
With exceptional control, Messi expertly brought the ball down using his chest and swiftly struck it into the net from a distance of six yards seven minutes into the first half.
Orlando responded ten minutes later, as Ivan Angulo took a low shot that was deflected by Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender.
Seizing the opportunity, Cesar Araujo swiftly struck a low shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the box, bringing the score to 1-1.
Messi was frustrated by Orlando’s hard markings
Orlando was becoming more successful in shutting down Messi, and the Argentine player displayed his first signs of frustration by receiving a yellow card for a foul on Wilder Cartagena.
Messi appeared visibly discontented as he exited the field during halftime, possibly due to the physicality of the marking he had endured, as well as the limited opportunities he had to find open spaces in the game.
The Argentine star handed a penalty kick to Martinez
Miami managed to regain their lead with less effort from their star player, Lionel Messi.
18-year-old Benjamin Cremaschi skillfully passed the ball into the box, where Martinez, feeling a slight tug from Antonio Carlos, went down and successfully won a penalty.
In the second half, Martinez earned a penalty for Miami, causing the fans at DRV PNK Stadium to anticipate Messi’s appearance and another goal from the 12-yard spot.
However, Messi handed the ball to Martinez, giving him the opportunity to shine.
Martinez seized the moment by skillfully placing the ball beyond Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese to make it 2-1 lead against Orlando.
In his remarkable career, the Argentine has taken a total of 140 penalties, successfully converting 78 percent of his attempts from the 12-yard mark.
Lionel Messi finalized the 3-1 victory
Martinez promptly assisted Messi for his second goal a mere 23 minutes after the penalty, showcasing their gracious partnership in the attack.
Taylor skillfully maneuvered down the left side and delivered an accurate pass to Martinez, who expertly controlled the ball with his chest.
Martinez then cleverly chipped the ball to Messi, who joyfully tucked it away into the net to make it 3-1.
Following his brace against Orlando, Messi has already made a significant impact by scoring five goals in his first three games for the MLS team.
What’s next for Lionel Messi?
Messi is undoubtedly the most prominent star in MLS, likely surpassing any other player the league has ever witnessed.
Consequently, all attention will be focused on him as he endeavors to elevate Miami from their lower position in the table to become playoff contenders, and ultimately, title challengers.
The next match for Inter Miami will be against FC Dallas in the Round of 16 of the Leagues Cup.
The game is scheduled to take place on Sunday, August 6, in Dallas, marking Messi’s first away game since joining MLS. The kickoff time is yet to be determined.