Lionel Messi offered invaluable guidance to his young Inter Miami teammate David Ruiz, just before Ruiz scored in the Leagues Cup.
Inter Miami claimed the Leagues Cup title on Saturday with a penalty shootout victory over Nashville, in a match that tested their endurance.
A total of 22 penalties were taken before goalkeeper Elliot Panicco’s miss settled the outcome.
Among those who successfully converted their penalties was 19-year-old Honduran youth international David Ruiz, securing his second goal for the club in the 4-1 victory over Philadelphia Union in the semi-final.
Ruiz shared that he sought advice from Messi and received crucial wisdom from the Argentine maestro just before his scoring moment.
After lifting the Leagues Cup, Ruiz explained (quotes via Goal): “One thing Messi told me is to stand still more.
“You want to run for every ball, look for space to have it more, but he has told me to stay still in my position and the ball will come to me.
“I tried it and it came off. I was more patient.”
Messi has perfected the art of walking around the pitch when his team are out of possession, in an attempt to find space between defenders. You can see how he does it below.
@mrfurchi El gol de Messi visto desse la tribuna , el numero 1 #nashville #intermiami ♬ sonido original – Gabriel Furchi
Inter Miami were statistically the worst team in Major League Soccer in 2023 upon Messi’s arrival last month, but you’d be surprised to see that record last too long when the season resumes.
Due to the MLS mid-season break, The Argentinian has been restricted to playing in the Leagues Cup, which features teams from across North America.
In typical Messi fashion, he has completely dominated the competition, scoring in Inter Miami’s seven matches to netting 10 goals overall.
Messi’s side are back in MLS action on August 27, when they travel to the New York Red Bulls. Three days before that clash, they face a trip to Cincinnati to contest the US Open Cup semi-final.