“They Are Not Better Than Us”- Hours After Losing to Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami, Rival Star Admits Being ‘Scared’ of Big Names

Published 08/17/2023, 9:30 AM EDT

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Inter Miami has secured their spot in the 2023 Leagues Cup final, overpowering Philadelphia Union with a resounding 4-1 victory. This clash not only showcased the brilliance of Lionel Messi, as he claimed his ninth goal for Inter Miami, but it also saw a Philly playmaker admitting to feeling apprehensive about the formidable names within the Inter Miami camp.

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Philadelphia Union has been on an upward trajectory, exemplified by their near-triumph in the Leagues Cup and their remarkable 15-match unbeaten streak. Despite Messi’s brilliance, their loss to Inter Miami cannot overshadow their exceptional achievements.

Philadelphia Union’s resilience and Messi’s masterpiece

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The Union’s last home defeat was against Orlando City on March 25, marking their consistent stronghold in the league. Before Messi’s arrival on American soil, a 4-1 scoreline against the Union wouldn’t have raised significant eyebrows. However, with the addition of the Argentine superstar along with his Barcelona friends Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets, expectations have shifted. Even though Philly remains a dominant force in the league with 40 points compared to Miami’s 18.

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After the match, Dániel Gazdag, the Philadelphia Union playmaker, candidly shared, “It’s not easy to say now. I think we’ve been scared a little bit of the names that Miami had.” Gazdag further emphasized, “Obviously, they have a good team now. But they are not better than us [by] three goals.” 

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In the semi-final match, Messi exhibited his unmatched skill with a remarkable goal. A long-range strike went into the side netting from a staggering 36 yards out. This extraordinary goal secured Inter Miami’s advance to the Leagues Cup Final.

The transformative impact of Lionel Messi while a historic final awaits

La Pulga’s presence has undeniably transformed Inter Miami’s fate. Since his transfer from Paris Saint-Germain, the team has enjoyed a resounding six-game winning streak, including a triumphant penalty shoot-out victory over FC Dallas. Messi’s partnership with Tata Martino’s side has been instrumental in their success, propelling them to greater heights in the league.

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As Messi continues to dazzle on the field, his position on Inter Miami’s all-time scoring list highlights his influence. Josef Martinez and Robert Taylor are accompanying him in third place. While Leonardo Campana occupies the second spot with 16 goals. Messi’s former Argentina teammate Gonzalo Higuain leads the pack with an impressive 29 goals for Inter Miami since the team’s inception in 2018.

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Inter Miami’s victory in the Leagues Cup semi-final has set the stage for an unprecedented clash in the final against Nashville. The Herons, who have soared under Messi’s guidance, will be competing in their inaugural Leagues Cup final. This presents Messi with the opportunity to secure another accolade in his illustrious career and propel Inter Miami to their first-ever piece of silverware.

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Will Lionel Messi and Inter Miami emerge triumphant in the Leagues Cup final against Nashville? What do you think?

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Written by:

Sourav Kalita

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Sourav Jyoti Kalita is a soccer writer at EssentiallySports. Soccer has been a passion he follows since school days where he has participated extensively in matches where he looks for a chance to don the jersey and take the field. A fan of the glorious Red Devils, he also ardently supports his local team North East United that plays in the Indian Super League.
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