The foot­baller came on as a sub­sti­tute in the sec­ond half in the match against the Mex­i­can club Cruz Azul and scored the win­ning goal just sec­onds before the final whis­tle.

The leader of the Argenti­na nation­al team and sev­en-time Bal­lon d’Or win­ner Lionel Mes­si made a suc­cess­ful debut for his new club, the Amer­i­can Inter Mia­mi. This hap­pened in a match of the Leagues Cup tour­na­ment against the Mex­i­can Cruz Azul.

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Mes­si came on as a sub­sti­tute in the sec­ond half in the 54th minute, and in the 94th, just sec­onds before the final whis­tle, he scored the win­ning goal with a free kick. The meet­ing end­ed with a score of 2:1: “I want to thank all these peo­ple. They make me feel wel­come here, so I’m real­ly hap­py to repay them with a win. I knew that this free kick was the last chance. For­tu­nate­ly, the goal­keep­er was unable to reach the ball. Yes, it’s a dif­fer­ent tour­na­ment, but it will help our morale” – Mes­si com­ment­ed for Apple TV.

Leagues Cup is a com­pe­ti­tion in which clubs from the USA and Mex­i­co com­pete. Start­ing this year, the tour­na­ment received offi­cial sta­tus under the aus­pices of CONCACAF. The final­ists and the third-placed team will auto­mat­i­cal­ly qual­i­fy for the Cham­pi­ons League (the win­ner goes straight to the play­offs). In addi­tion to Cruz Azul, Inter’s group also includ­ed Atlanta Unit­ed. The teams will play each oth­er in a match, after which the first two places will advance to the play­offs.

The Amer­i­can club, which is owned by a group of investors led by for­mer Eng­land foot­baller David Beck­ham, announced Mes­si’s trans­fer on July 15.