Argentine star Lionel Messi made a Hollywood start to his career in the United States when he scored the winning goal 2-1 for his new team Inter Miami against Mexico's Cross Assol in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

The match was held at Fort Lauderdale in front of 20,<> spectators and was attended by sports and art stars, including LeBron James, Serena Williams and Kim Kardashian, who took pictures from their mobile phones the moment Messi entered the pitch, and brought together Inter Miami and Kroos Asol in the "League Cup" organized by the American and Mexican federations.

Messi sat on the bench for not being fully ready to play 90 minutes, but the public began to chant his name "Messi, Messi" since the 20th minute demanding Argentine coach Gerardo Martino to involve him.

Robert Taylor opened the scoring for Inter Miami a minute before half-time with a shot that hit the post and tumbled into the net.

Then came the moment Messi entered the pitch in the 54th minute when the crowd stood for him applauding.

However, Kroos Assol equalised through Antona in the 65th minute.

The Argentine star tried to score the winning goal repeatedly by providing his colleagues with perfect balls or through individual attempts, until the referee awarded him a direct free kick on the outskirts of the area in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Messi and shot it over the wall to settle at the top of the net, giving victory to his team.


β€” Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 22, 2023

It was the 63rd direct free-kick Messi has scored in his career.

Messi's former Barcelona team-mate Sergio Busquets also featured in the match.

Messi said after the match: "I knew I had to score, it was the last shot of the game. I wanted to score so we wouldn't go to the penalty shootout. It was very important for us to win. It's a new competition and it will give us great confidence to move forward."

Former England star David Beckham, one of Inter Miami's owners, commented on the goal: "To be honest, when I saw the referee award a direct free kick, I realized that it was the perfect way to end the game, especially when you have players on the pitch like Leo and Sergio, that's what they do."

"It's very exciting for our supporters, for all those who came here to see Messi. It's a dream come true for everyone to see what happened on the pitch."

Fantastic price

The organizers of the match distributed free pink flags (Inter Miami FC colors) bearing Messi's picture and number to the crowd as he entered the stands, as a gift to compensate for the huge money they paid to watch the Argentine star.

The cheapest ticket to Messi's first match sold for $160, while the highest was $8800,<>, a record for this competition.

Inter Miami play their second match in this competition against Atlanta next Tuesday.

Introduced in 2019, the competition includes 29 teams from the MLS and 18 from the Mexican League, divided into 15 groups of 3 teams each.

Messi had not played any match since his last participation in the ranks of his former team Paris Saint-Germain on the fourth of last June.

Messi has become the most prominent name ever to move to the MLS since Brazilian jewel Pele, who arrived at the New York Cosmos in 1975.

The arrival of the Argentine star is expected to boost the number of new subscribers to the NBA season pass on Apple TV. Ticket prices for the matches he is likely to participate in have also increased.

Unlike European championships, the MLS starts in February and ends in late October, then teams play the Golden Square before playing the final on the ninth of December.

Despite finishing last in the league, Miami still has hope of reaching the knockout stages provided Messi has a big impact on that.


Messi wins it.

β€” Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 22, 2023

A huge celebration of Messi

The stadium audience celebrated Messi a lot after the goal, and the celebration extended to the communication platforms, where millions circulated the goal clip, and the name of Messi topped the American platforms, and Inter Miami praised his new player through his accounts on communication platforms, and the American League account commented, saying: "Lionel Messi is not human."

πŸŽ₯ Field-level view of Messi's walkoff stunner.

β€” Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 22, 2023

German star Thomas Muller said via his Twitter account: "What a great start for Messi at Inter Miami."

What a great start for Lionel #Messi @InterMiamiCF πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸΌ #MLS #LionelMessi

β€” Thomas MΓΌller (@esmuellert_) July 22, 2023

Anywhere he goes, everyone is forced to follow him and pay attention to him, and even to know everything that is going on around him.

Simply, because it is the best in history. Quietly, because it's Lionel Messi. The greatest thing football has to offer. It has never and will never offer anything like it.

Missy.. Messi. Miy y

β€” Mukhtar (@Attacking_Mid) July 22, 2023

GOAT things. 😏

Messi x @KingJames

β€” Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 22, 2023

David Beckham and Messi after his winner for Inter Miami ❀️

β€” ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 22, 2023

Lionel Messi scores the 63rd free-kick of his career... to win the game for Inter Miami... on his debut... in the last minute.

Of course. 🐐

(video via @MLS)

β€” Squawka (@Squawka) July 22, 2023

yes, that's brilliant

β€” (@chesscom) July 22, 2023

The thing about true legends, the absolute best of the best historically, is they somehow always find themselves in these moments, no matter the stage of their career, and just deliver. Over and over again.

Sports are just the best, man.

β€” nick wright (@getnickwright) July 22, 2023

"If Messi scores this free kick, I'm a Messi fan, wallahi" 😭😭😭😭

β€” Speedy HQ (@iShowSpeedHQ) July 22, 2023