Lionel Messi’s brilliant start for Inter Miami continued on Sunday as the superstar scored a brace in the team’s Leagues Cup round of 16 match against FC Dallas. The teams fought to a thrilling 4-4 draw in normal time before Miami won 5-3 on penalty kicks to advance to the Leagues Cup quarterfinals. Here’s what you need to know:
- Messi scored twice, including a game-tying goal in the 85th minute when his left-footed free kick from just outside the box curled into the top right part of the net. He also converted the first penalty of the shootout.
- The Argentine now has seven goals and one assist in four matches with Inter Miami. He most recently had a brace in a 3-1 win over Orlando City SC on Aug. 2.
- FC Dallas’ Facundo Quignón (37th minute) and Bernard Kamungo (45th minute) scored for Dallas, in addition to a freekick goal by Alan Velasco and an own goal by Inter Miami’s Robert Taylor in the second half.
- Messi’s contract with the MLS club is for two and a half seasons with an option to extend for a further year in the 2026 season. The deal is worth around $50-60 million annually, which includes the value of his equity in Inter Miami.
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
The Messi show continues
Messi continued to put on a show in an Inter Miami jersey. Two more goals tonight in Frisco, including an absolutely incredible free kick in the 85th minute to pull Miami even at 4-4. The free kick against FC Dallas was arguably better than his goal against Cruz Azul in his first Inter Miami game. It found the upper right corner of the net, just barely kissing the underside of the crossbar and giving Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes no chance to make the save.
Inter Miami advanced but more importantly, Messi continued to prove himself worth every penny of the investment from the Miami owners so far by delivering in the biggest moments. — Tenorio
When do Lionel Messi and Inter Miami play next?
(Photo: Tim Heitman / USA Today)