Professional sports are supposed to be hard. That’s kind of the whole point. If they were easy, and they just let anybody play them, athletes’ remarkable accomplishments wouldn’t be as special. But in any given professional sports league, each player has put in countless hours of work over the course of their entire life, sacrificing blood, sweat, and tears to achieve their dreams. So, when someone strolls in and makes those people look silly—essentially saying, “I know you worked hard to get here, but so did I, and I’m also naturally way better at this than you”—it’s quite breathtaking to watch!
Enter Lionel Messi, probably the greatest soccer player ever, who is now plying his trade in Major League Soccer with Inter Miami. The club—partially owned by David Beckham and previously known mainly for its pink uniforms and fun flamingo logo—was pretty mid for the first three years of its existence. They were flat out terrible this year, going 5-14-3 in MLS regular season games, putting them dead last in the league table.
After making his new Florida lifestyle official with a trip to Publix, Messi made his Miami debut on July 21. This was during the Leagues Cup, a tournament between teams in MLS and Liga MX, the top league in Mexico. He made an immediate impact, netting the game-winning goal with a sublime free kick. It was a little like if LeBron James joined your beer-league hoops team and hit a buzzer-beater.