Messi scored another long-range special in the Leagues Cup final, before going on to convert his penalty in a thrilling shootout triumph. Nashville coach Gary Smith was facing the mercurial Argentine for the first time in his career, and he admits there is no stopping the 2022 World Cup winner when he is in the mood to wreak havoc.
WHAT THEY SAID
Smith told Apple TV+ after seeing the all-time great deny his side an opportunity to lift the inaugural Leagues Cup: “This is the first time that I've seen [Messi] play live. And I think what I would take away is that there are moments in the game that he's just unplayable. It's not over a prolonged period. It's not for 90 minutes. There are windows, where he just comes to life and it's almost impossible to deal with what he's wanting to do. To be perfectly honest, if it wasn’t for the man of the moment [Messi] in their group, we would have won tonight. The goal that he scored is just incredible, out of nothing, and with his only other shot on goal he hits the post.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
While Messi has helped Inter Miami to a historic first trophy, he has work to do when it comes to their MLS campaign. The Florida-based outfit remain rooted to the foot of the Eastern Conference, but now have the likes of Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba on their books as they seek to close a 12-point gap on the play-off places.