Lionel Messi’s debut as an Inter Miami player earned him praise for his class and humility, evident during his first post-match interview.
The 36-year-old football icon lived up to his dream debut with the club, stunning the crowd with a last-minute free-kick that secured Inter Miami a thrilling 2-1 victory over Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup.
A constellation of stars, including LeBron James, Kim Kardashian, and Serena Williams, had the privilege of witnessing Messi’s maiden appearance at the DRV PNK Stadium, and they certainly were not disappointed.
Coming on as a substitute alongside former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets in the 54th minute, Messi’s exceptional skills once again shone through as he conjured up a moment of magic that turned the game in Inter Miami’s favor.
The stunning free-kick perfectly epitomized his unparalleled talent and left the fans in awe of his prowess on the field.
Messi’s classy gesture after young Inter Miami teammate suffered injury
Messi was interviewed after the match and took the time to dedicate the victory to 20-year-old teammate Ian Fray, who suffered a serious-looking injury midway through the first half.
Fray has already torn his ACL twice during his short career, perGoal, and there are fears that the youngster may have suffered the same injury again.
Towards the end of his on-field interview, Messi said: “Let me dedicate this victory to Ian Fray, who was suffering in the locker room from the injury he sustained.
“He comes (back) from two serious injuries and today he has the bad luck to go through an injury again.”
A truly classy gesture from Messi.
The Argentine has only been at Inter Miami for a few days but, in his role as the club’s new captain, is already acting like the team’s leader.
Watch the full translated version of Messi’s interview here:
Messi’s post match interview with ENGLISH SUBS
— TranslateMom (@TranslateMom) July 22, 2023
I am on the FLOOR at how easily Messi has integrated himself into the team already. Like bruh, a month ago this mfer did NOT know who “Ian Fray” was and look at him now. Leo, I love you so much.🥺 https://t.co/yoCVqb0j1r
— Jose (@josepintoj) July 22, 2023
How else has Messi endeared himself to his new teammates?
Meanwhile, DeAndre Yedlin revealed earlier this week that the World Cup winner immediately responded in the team’s WhatsApp group chat when Leonardo Campana said he was struggling to get hold of tickets for Messi’s welcome ceremony.
Asked if Messi had been a great teammate so far, Yedlin said: “Yeah. From the big event he had on Sunday, Campana was looking for tickets and he put in the group chat if anybody has any tickets.
“I didn’t even know whether Messi was in the group chat yet, but he popped up straightway and said, ‘How many do you need though?’ Straightaway like that.
“Just from there I was just like ‘Woah!’
“You know what I mean. Like straight off the bat, they maybe know each other for two/three days or something. But to show that generosity is a great first example of how he (Messi) is.”
Moments like these are bound to further endear Messi to his new teammates – most, if not all of whom, will already be in complete awe of the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain megastar.
For the unfortunate Fray, one of Inter Miami’s homegrown players who is eligible to play for either the United States or Jamaica, nothing will take away the bitter disappointment if he has indeed suffered another ACL injury.
However, hearing the legendary Messi dedicate the team’s victory to him will hopefully have brought him some comfort during an incredibly difficult moment in his young life.
— ⚒️Zechariah (@RNY_WHU) July 22, 2023