Classy! Messi gives Yedlin armband for Leagues Cup celebrations

Leagues Cup trophy raise

As Lionel Messi celebrated Inter Miami CF winning the 2023 Leagues Cup title over Nashville SC, there was something conspicuously missing from his bicep: the captain’s armband.

The reason provides a glimpse into the team-first leadership style the Argentine megastar has brought since coming to MLS in mid-July.

Messi, before it was trophy-raising time Saturday night at GEODIS Park, gave the captain’s armband to DeAndre Yedlin. It was the ultimate sign of respect, as the US international defender held skipper duties before formal responsibilities shifted to the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner.

As confetti poured down following Miami’s first-ever title, Messi and Yedlin proudly raised silverware together. The humble, selfless gesture followed a 1-1 draw that was settled 10-9 on penalty kicks, a shootout where these new teammates scored.

Messi’s Leagues Cup will long be remembered for his 10 goals in seven games, which produced Best Player and Golden Boot honors. He also set a new world record by winning a 44th trophy across his esteemed career for club and country.

But these subtler moments certainly won’t get overlooked, empowering Miami’s rise on and off the field.