Knowing when to run. Finding the spaces. Exploding at just the right time. Lionel Messi's goal against Nashville SC in the 2023 Leagues Cup final for Inter Miami CF was a true work of art.
Once again, the world of football was amazed at the talent of the Argentine number 10 who delivered with a masterful left foot to score his 10th goal of the tournament..
But like any work of art, it had several points of view to analyze. After the final, many videos of the goal with different views than the ones on the broadcast, went viral. One went more viral than the other because of the action it captured prior to the goal.
In the video, you can watch Messi away from the play, walking and watching what was happening on the other side of the pitch. But at one point he suddenly begins accelerating toward the penalty area, receives the ball, makes his move, and curls an improbable shot into the upper left corner of the net away from goalkeeper Elliot Panicco.
The whole play was an encapsulation of the types of plays that have repeatedly happened throughout the Argentine’s career; seemingly lost on the field until he is suddenly where he needs to be. Just ask his former clubs, FC Barcelona, Paris Saint Germain and the Argentine National Team.