Marked by 5 New York Red Bulls Players: Messi’s Unbelievable Vision Leaves Opponents Stunned

The afterglow of Inter Miami’s 2-0 win over New York Red Bulls in MLS remains, with Lionel Messi’s genius pass and then his own first goal on his MLS debut was the focus of all commentary.

In the 89th minute, when the ball landed at the feet of Lionel Messi just inside the New York Red Bulls box, the entire stadium was standing on the edge of their seats and ready to bounce. But it happens every time Messi touches the ball. For half an hour (Messi was on the bench and came on in the 60th minute), the initial eagerness to wait was replaced by frustration.

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Lionel Messi’s incredible flick of the ball in the middle of the opposition player’s encirclement for Cremaschi. PHOTO: GETTY

For half an hour, the greatest player of all time reminded everyone that he really is a human being. Messi’s first touch was a misplaced pass. When Messi took a direct free kick just outside the box with 5 minutes left in the game, everyone thought the time had come, but instead, Messi put the ball “into the fence”.

That 89th minute, when Messi was approached by three players and seemed to have reached a dead end, there was a brief sense of resignation that Messi’s MLS debut would go on as normal. And it will be the first game Messi has not made any impact on Inter Miami. Then, in the blink of an eye, Messi reminded everyone that he still came from another world.

Messi’s superb pass and entire goal-scoring move that sealed an important 2-0 win for Inter Miami unfolded like slow-motion footage. In retrospect, it contains all the hallmarks of the new Inter Miami, the Inter Miami era of Lionel Messi.

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Messi did all the hardest things after the combination of Busquets and Alba. PHOTO: GETTY

Of course, in order for Messi to have moments of brilliance that amazed everyone with his vision, he needs “masters” to play with. It all started with Sergio Busquets. Busquets came on with Messi in the 60th minute as calm as ever in the middle of the pitch, always providing attacks.

Busquets passed the ball to Jordi Alba, who threw himself into the air in an effort to push the ball towards Messi waiting in the box. Messi quickly controlled the ball completely with a spin and then kept his balance covering the ball. It may be something new to American fans, but previously at Barcelona, the trio had masterfully done it together on a daily basis.

At that point, Messi had all the work to do. When it was Messi’s turn to find space, he turned away from the goal, surrounded by New York players and mostly expected a simple pass to his teammate on the edge of the box, where 2 nearby Inter Miami players offered their hands for the ball.

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Cremaschi received the ball and returned it to Messi to cushion it into an empty net. PHOTO: GETTY

But what hardly anyone in the stadium saw was Benjamin Cremeschi, who was standing alone on the right side of the edge of the box. And only 1 man saw that and had the courage to approach him, and that was Messi.

Lionel Messi’s deft, delicate pass with the outside cheek of his left foot came in a split second. But once the ball is on the way, everyone can see what happens next.

The stadium exploded before the ball was passed back to Messi by Cremaschi to score a simple goal and open his account in MLS. Once again, however, Lionel Messi has taken all the attention and even Messi’s teammates at Inter Miami are speechless at what he continues to do.

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Messi’s level is undisputed. PHOTO: GETTY

Inter Miami’s DeAndre Yedlin said after the game: “It surprised me and not at all. It surprised me because it was unbelievable to see that ball, but it didn’t surprise me because it was Lionel Messi, sort of I was both surprised and not.”

50m behind Messi, Inter Miami’s Kamal Miller was watching Messi work his magic while trying not to get distracted with the task of defending from behind. Kamal Miller said: “I stayed behind and just watched Lionel Messi play, instead of doing his job. It’s hard to focus when there’s such a great presence in front of you.”

Kamal Miller couldn’t help but appreciate the combination of the trio of Busquets, Messi, Alba that has become instinctive after all their years together at Barcelona. Miller went on to say, “It’s just instinctive for them now. They don’t even need to think about where their teammates are. They know exactly where each other stands as a team and they’ll eventually catch that ball.

We start to be able to find Leo (Lionel Messi) in positions where he wants the ball, Jordi Alba on the pitch where he wants the ball, backs are always looking for Leo at the top of the box… Like they did, they practiced it every day throughout their lives. So it’s special to watch them play.”

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Messi and Cremaschi celebrate the classic goal. PHOTO: GETTY

But while it was a goal made by a trio of former Barcelona players, it involved some of Inter Miami’s homegrown talents, notably Cremaschi, who received a classic pass from Messi and returned the assist for Messi to score. Argentine-born youngster Cremaschi is about to be called up to the U.S. team. He has shone since Messi’s arrival.

It’s a testament to the plan that Inter Miami boss David Beckham announced and executed, that he naturally wants to produce top talent in Miami. Cremaschi, 18, is going strong with the 3 best players from Barcelona’s La Masia oven. Cremaschi was among those who immediately made that plan a reality.

Since Messi arrived in the United States, we have seen Messi take a lot of free kicks, shoot long shots and do everything that we expect from him. The finish may have been Messi’s simplest goal, but the combination that led to the goal was Messi’s most epic since he arrived in the United States. For the 26,276 fans who attended the match, a record-breaking number, it was a moment they will never forget.

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