Lionel Messi scores 36-yard goal for Inter Miami after 11-year drought

Inter Miami reached its first Leagues Cup final after Lionel Messi scored a stunning long-range goal against Philadelphia Union.

As Inter Miami reached their first cup final, Lionel Messi impressed.

The Argentine scored his tenth goal for the club as MLS trounced Philadelphia Union 4-1 at Subaru Park. This goal was remarkable since OptaJack on social media site X estimated the 36-year-old’s long-range strike at 36.3 yards.

This was Messi’s furthest club goal since a 38.8-yard free kick against Real Mallorca in 2012. Alejandro Bedoya scored Philadelphia’s consolation, while Josef Martinez, Jordi Alba, and David Ruiz scored.

Miami also qualified for the Concacaf Champions Cup next season, which might lead to Fifa’s expanded Club World Cup in 2025. “We qualified for international competition next season,” Miami manager Gerardo Martino remarked after the game.

“We are determined and confident to win this event now that we must prepare. That has us motivated and confident, but we’re not letting it distract us from improving as a team. We don’t mix our accomplishment with admitting we have a long way to go.”

Miami’s final opponent at Geodis Park on Saturday (Sunday, 02:00 BST) is Nashville SC, who defeated Monterrey 2-0 in the other semi-final. This is the club’s first Cup final and Messi’s 42nd final. The World Cup winner posted game photos on Instagram and commented, “We made the finals we earned our way to. Still on the last step.”

The acquisition of Messi, Alba, and Sergio Busquets has boosted morale and helped the club win six consecutive. Martino appreciated the past Barcelona players’ immediate impact on the team. “Messi, Busquets, & Alba pass on confidence to younger players and (Messi) has this commitment to the game,” he remarked.

“He’s working hard, especially on recovery balls, and his teammates notice.” Teenager and native talent David Ruiz was excited to play with Messi, Busquets, and Alba and said the other players follow their instructions.

It’s altered a lot. He claimed everyone has a winning mentality and is ready to win every tournament, game, and final. “They’re players who give advice,” he remarked.

“We’re youthful and run everywhere. They urged us to keep our position because the ball will get to us. Stop rushing for the ball too much and trapping yourself”