After joining Inter Miami in July after his contract expired with Paris Saint-Germain, Lionel Messi wasted no time leading the Herons to their first trophy by winning the Leagues Cup. Messi was named player of the Tournament after scoring 10 goals while also securing the Golden Boot. Messi’s impact has been immediate and now he can help Inter Miami secure their place in yet another cup final as they’llin the U.S. Open Cup (which you can watch for free on the CBS Sports Golazo Network with an additional option of watching a ).
America’s oldest competition will now see one of the best soccer players to ever set foot on a pitch feature in it, but to get ready for the Open Cup, let’s rank Messi’s goals for Miami so far.
10. Campana assists Messi
Leaving his scoring late in this one, Messi capped off Miami’s 4-0 route of Charlotte FC by floating into the box where the defense somehow gave him space to finish a chance easily. Leonardo Campana should’ve been closed down before providing the assist, but that’s easier said than done when a team is already behind by three goals.
9. Messi follows up his rebound
This goal against Atlanta United isn’t a particularly good finish, as Messi does hit his initial effort off the post, but being able to follow up his rebound with ease to put it into the net is what sets this finish apart. Atlanta United defenders may not want to watch this one back as the chance should’ve been cleared, but everyone gets star struck around Messi.
8. Finishing through traffic
This one needed a video review to confirm, but the result is still the same, another Messi goal from outside the box against Dallas. Messi again evades the eye of the defense before unleashing a shot that can’t be stopped putting Miami ahead only six minutes into this match.
7. A perfect chest down against Orlando
A goal where Messi makes the hard things look easy, there were plenty of chances to send the shot into a defender or over the bar for his opening goal against Orlando City. A perfectly weighted ball from Robert Taylor was settled in stride and finished with ease to cap off a great team goal for Inter Miami.
6. Messi’s brace against Atlanta
Some of these goals look like copies of each other and for good reason as Miami are learning how to find Messi in space. While he’ll start a play deep, he’s always looking to get into an attacking position to finish it if his teammates can find him. Add in the excellent dummy from Josef Martinez in the box and it’s unstoppable.
5. Messi’s second against Orlando
Upping the degree of difficulty on this one, Messi begins the play from deep as Miami are in full attacking flow before Martinez is able to find him in the box for another excellent finish. It’s another goal where Messi had to settle the ball, similar to his opening goal against Orlando but again, he makes it so easy pulling it off in a fluid motion.
4. More free kick magic
Eventually, teams will figure out that fouling Miami around the box is almost the same as automatically conceding a goal. Messi even forced Dallas into an own goal from a free kick in this game, before scoring this exquisite effort of his own. It was also a high stakes free kick to tie the match and eventually send it to penalties.
3. Long range efforts
Most players wouldn’t shoot from almost 40 yards out while running toward net but most players also aren’t Messi. Not closed down by the defense, and taking advantage of poor keeper play from Andre Blake, Messi lets loose and just like that Miami were able to double their advantage within 20 minutes against the Philadelphia Union to win the game easily.
2. Messi puts Miami ahead of Nashville SC
Nashville had this well defended and Messi still found a way to open the scoring in the Leagues Cup final. For most, this is a finish that would easily be number one but when Messi is doing jaw dropping things on almost a daily basis, that leaves us with another goal to go.
1. Messi’s game winning free kick versus Cruz Azul
For a goal to truly be number one not only does it need to be a beautiful goal but it also needs to be a goal scored where the stakes were high. It doesn’t become much more of a pressure cooker to win a game for your team in your debut but Messi’s arrival has felt like a movie and when the opening scene is this good, it’ll be pretty hard to top.
How to watch CBS Sports Golazo Network and Paramount+
The Golazo Network is available via CBSSports.com, the CBS Sports app, Paramount+ and Pluto TV. Paramount+ subscribers can get an up-close look at Lionel Messi’s greatness with the Star Cam, which follows his every move and touch on the pitch. For a limited time, get 50% off an annual plan. That’s $2.50/month for the Essential Plan, or $5/month for the Paramount+ with SHOWTIME plan, for 12 months! Try it for free here.
How to watch and odds
- Date: Wednesday, Aug. 23 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
- Location: TQL Stadium — Cincinnati, Ohio
- TV: CBS Sports Golazo | Live stream: Paramount+
- Odds: FC Cincinnati +210; Draw +265; Inter Miami -104 (via Caesars Sportsbook)