CONGRATULATIONS: Nashville’s hearts are brokҽn as Lionel Messi and Inter Miami win the Leagues Cup

Nashville SC’s strategy to contain Lionel Messi in the Leagues Cup final loss on Saturday night was more of a mentality: be yourselves in front of a global audience. The team didn’t want to change its strategy, even to accommodate the best player of all time, because it had worked so well up to that point.

Midfielder Anibal Godoy remarked before the game, “I think everything is about confidence, trying to give the confidence, trying to believe in all the work [we’ve] done in the past couple games.” “We don’t need to modify the way we play a whole lot… It’s hard to change [our identity], therefore we don’t need to. If we focus too much on Messi, Busquets, Jordi Alba, and the rest of our talented players, we could run into difficulties.

After a scoreless regulation and overtime, Nashville had to resort to a penalty shootout, which they ultimately lost 10-9. It kept up its high-pressure tactics in order to cut off the visitors’ midfield from the аttаck. Godoy and his team put in a tremendous effort, but they were unable to prevent the MLS rookie from scoring in the first half.

After being shut down for the opening 22 minutes and forced to drop deep to receive the ball, Messi capitalized on a loose ball bouncing outside the box. Walker Zimmerman, Nashville’s central defender, anticipated that the striker would rush his touch and sprinted forward eagerly in pursuit.

Messi saw that as an opening and quietly faked past him. No one was going to be able to stop the subsequent long-range shot, a mιssιle blasted with his illustrious left foot. Messi’s incredible start to his American career continued when he scored for the seventh consecutive game. The 36-year-old finished the competition with 10.

In the 57th minute, however, Nashville’s persistence paid off as Fafa Picault headed in a chaotic corner kιck. In the 67th minute, after Messi Һit the post, Nashville nearly scored on a brilliant cоunterattack when reigning MVP Hany Mukhtar found Sam Surridge, but Surridge’s shot was stopped by Drake Callender.

The home team had two late chances to take the lead, but their hearts were nearly broken when Inter Miami’s Leo Campana got loose on the opposite end. Unfortunately for Campana, the ball went just out of reach as he attempted to slant a sliding shot toward the goal and convert into an open net.

In a frantic shootout, Messi scored on a penalty kιck despite goalkeeper Callender charging into the net to prevent an attempt by Elliot Panicco. With 44 hardware awards, he has surpassed every other player in history.

It’s simple to overlook how desperate matters were at Inter Miami prior to Messi’s arrival. Eight out of 11 games were lost by the team. It was the Eastern Conference’s worst seed heading into the tournament.

Messi’s aura has changed the way David Beckham’s company functions. The Argentine icon prefers the kind reception he has received at Inter Miami to the cold reception he received at Paris Saint-Germain.

A lot calmer, much happier,” stated head coach Gerardo Martino. “You see it in the field; I don’t have to tell you, but he’s a lot calmer, much happier.” “Where he’s been has a lot to do with his happiness.”

It’s nearly hard to stop Messi when he’s at peace, as he has been in MLS and the 2022 World Cup. The Philadelphia Union’s formation fell apart in the semi-final of the Leagues Cup and they were unable to contain him. Nashville was Nashville. That just wasn’t good enough in the end.

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