FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Lionel Messi made U.S. soccer history when he scored a winning goal during his first Inter Miami CF game on Friday night in Broward County’s 21,000-seat stadium.
The list of Messi’s fans who witnessed Miami’s 2-1 victory at the DRV PNK Stadium included Kim Kardashian, Serena Williams, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, and LeBron James, who gave Messi a hug.
The coveted tickets increased in value to more than $1,000. Gabriel Ordoñez, who brought his boys to the game, said he paid “like a thousand.” Maria Gil couldn’t get tickets, but she showed up anyway.
“Not matter if we are outside, our heart is with him inside,” Gil said referring to Messi.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was on the bench with the legendary midfielder Sergio Busquets when Robert Taylor, 28, a Finnish midfielder, scored the first goal against the Cruz Azul.
Messi, 36, and Busquets, 35, joined the game at about 9:30 p.m., during the second half.
David Beckham, who co-owns the Major League Soccer team, was gleaming with pride when Messi hugged Benjamin Cremaschi, 18, a Miamian who is of Argentine descent, and took his place.
Messi announced his decision to come to Miami in June. His official introduction was on Sunday and he trained with the team for the first time on Tuesday.
The Messi fans who already own his jerseys for Argentina, Barcelona, and Paris Saint-Germain now had access to his new Inter Miami jersey, which was up for sale at the stadium’s store.
Watch a video of Messi’s early stadium arrival
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Kim Kardashian in the house for Messi's Inter Miami debut ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/9oKimfjJ4f— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 21, 2023