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Nashville coach thinks Lionel Messi is ‘just unplayable’ after Leagues Cup final | Football News

Having played just seven matches in America, Lionel Messi has already guided Inter Miami to a historic triumph. Messi scored against Nashville SC last weekend to help the Herons in claiming the Leagues Cup title for the very first time. Inter Miami breezed past Nashville SC via penalties 10-9 after both sides finished 90 minutes at 1-1. The Argentine scored with a stunning long-range effort in the 23rd minute to clinch a lead for Inter Miami. Messi opened the tie-breaker by converting his spot kick. Following Inter Miami’s Leagues Cup triumph, Nashville coach Gary Smith was in awe of Messi. Having seen Messi play for the first time, Smith admitted that the World Cup winner was “just unplayable.”

Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi (10) shoots the ball.(USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con)
Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi (10) shoots the ball.(USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con)

“This is the first time that I’ve seen [Messi] play live. And I think what I would take away is that there are moments in the game that he’s just unplayable. It’s not over a prolonged period. It’s not for 90 minutes. There are windows, where he just comes to life and it’s almost impossible to deal with what he’s wanting to do. To be perfectly honest, if it wasn’t for the man of the moment [Messi] in their group, we would have won tonight. The goal that he scored is just incredible, out of nothing, and with his only other shot on goal he hits the post,” Smith told Apple TV+.

After winning this season’s first piece of silverware, Inter Miami players were seen hoisting Messi on their shoulders. Having scored 10 goals in the Leagues Cup, the former Barcelona star was awarded the tournament MVP trophy. Inter Miami coach Tata Martino credited the whole team for winning the Leagues Cup. After making a handful of acquisitions this summer, Martino seemed quite impressed with the newcomers, including the likes of Messi, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets.

“We had to incorporate a lot of new players but I’m very impressed how it came together. I remember the first days (in charge),” Martino said. “We needed to do more trainings to give shape to the team and I was thinking, how convenient it is to move on in this tournament because we can take advantage of this month to play more. But after this month, we are champions,” Martino was quoted as saying.

Though, the job is not totally done yet for Lionel Messi, who now has a challenging task at hand in the domestic league. All of Messi’s 10 Inter Miami goals have come in the Leagues Cup. Inter Miami, who are currently languishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, will resume their Major League Soccer (MLS) campaign with a game against New York Red Bulls on August 27. Buoyed by Messi’s arrival, Inter Miami will now be desperately looking to secure their playoff spot.

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