Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami debut was better than expected.
The athlete’s first game as an Inter Miami player saw him score a 94th-minute free kick to break a 1-to-1 tie with the Mexico City-based Cruz Azul that propelled his team to a 2-to-1 victory, reports Yahoo Sports. The game-winning moment was one that was taken in by soccer fans and many Hollywood A-listers, including Kim Kardashian, Lebron James, and Serena Williams. David Beckham, who is an Inter Miami co-owner, was there with his wife, Victoria Beckham.
The match was Inter Miami’s first in the Leagues Cup, a monthlong competition between Major League Soccer and Liga MX sides. Messi and Inter Miami’s next match is on July 25 against Atlanta United.
Kardashian, 42, attended the game with her 7-year-old son Saint West, whom she said is “obsessed with soccer.”
“I will do anything for my babies,” Kardashian told Major League Soccer. “So I traveled the world. We do soccer trips. All summer, we’re going to different exhibition games.”
The Kardashians star said she played soccer herself for “five or six years” and is happy to have a common love for their sport with her son.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 21, 2023
She added that she was “happy to see David and Victoria,” who recently celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary earlier in July. David, 48, called signing Messi to Inter Miami a “dream come true” when introducing Messi as a member of the team.
“Ten years ago, I started my journey to build a new MLS team,” Beckham said, per ESPN, during a ceremony that took place a few days before the big game. “I said then, I dreamt of bringing the best players in the world to South Florida and to the great city of Miami. Players who shared our ambition to grow soccer in this country … We are so happy that you are all here to celebrate this incredible moment.”
Williams, 41, chronicled her trip to the game by sharing a behind-the-scenes look at her makeup in her Instagram Story. She shared that she was in Miami through a series of photos from earlier in the day.
James, 38, also celebrated going to the event by sharing Instagram photos with Messi alongside the caption, “Welcome brother!!! Always good to see and be in the presence of GREATNESS!!! @leomessi 🙏🏾✊🏾🤎👑 #ComingToAmerica.”
The event became one to look out for after the Argentinian-born forward first announced that he was taking his talents to South Beach after leading Argentina to its third World Cup in January.
“I have made the decision that I am going to Miami,” he told Spanish outlets Mundo Deportivo and Sport in June. “I still don’t have it agreed upon 100% and a few things are needed, but well, we decided to continue my path there.”
The World Cup championship was Messi’s first, which inspired him to challenge himself and enjoy the game “in another way.”
“After winning the World Cup and not being able to return to Barcelona, it was my turn to go to the league of the United States to live football in another way and to enjoy the day to day more,” he added. “Obviously, with the same responsibility and desire to play well and do things well as always. But in a calmer way.”