Lionel Messi introduced a new celebration during his first start for Inter Miami, and he made sure to perform it right in front of David Beckham.
In his debut match for the Herons against Cruz Azul, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner showcased his brilliance by scoring a breathtaking 94th-minute free-kick winner on Friday night.
Messi continued to make an impact in his first appearance as a starter for Inter, this time facing MLS opponents Atlanta United in their latest Leagues Cup fixture at the DRV PNK Stadium.
Messi to David Beckham after scoring 😂 pic.twitter.com/3V0S5temHm
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 26, 2023
Miami Messi in his villain era 😅 pic.twitter.com/fArikC6Qa9
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 26, 2023
Lionel Messi’s dream start in his new journey across the pond persisted as he delivered a phenomenal performance, scoring two goals and providing an assist in a resounding 4-0 victory.
Wearing the captain’s armband for Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino’s team, Messi showcased his skills, scoring both goals using his weaker right foot within the first 22 minutes of the match.
In the 53rd minute, Messi demonstrated his playmaking abilities by setting up Robert Taylor’s second goal and Inter’s fourth with a precise pass that the Finland international expertly latched onto. His impact on the game was truly extraordinary.
In the 78th minute, Lionel Messi left the pitch to a standing ovation after delivering a remarkable and sensational performance.
During one of his goal celebrations, Messi surprised fans with an all-new gesture that hadn’t been seen from him before.
Normally, Messi points to the skies after scoring, but on occasion, he introduces a new celebration, like his head-banging celebration against Spurs or the ear-cupping gesture aimed at Louis van Gaal, which had been in the making for 20 years.
This time, Messi held out his hand as if he was grasping or holding an invisible object.
The meaning behind the gesture has sparked discussions, with some interpreting it as a “hold my beer” gesture, while others have likened it to iconic characters like Star Wars’ Darth Vader or Marvel superhero Thor.
The new celebration added an intriguing touch to his already legendary performance.
This celebration still cracks me up pic.twitter.com/6Gr95fHsSo
— Leo Messi 🔟 Fan Club (@WeAreMessi) July 26, 2023
The expression on Messi’s face during the celebration started off as serious, but it quickly transformed into a big grin.
Many speculated that the meme-worthy celebration was directed at his family in the stands, with his sons Thiago, Ciro, and Mateo, wife Antonela Roccuzzo, and mother Celia all present to witness the momentous occasion.
However, an alternate angle revealed that England icon David Beckham, who had worked tirelessly to secure the mega deal and bring Messi to Inter Miami, was also smiling back at him as he celebrated.
Messi and Inter Miami will be back in action in the Leagues Cup round of 32, where they will face Orlando City, Houston Dynamo, or Santos Laguna in what promises to be another thrilling match.