Lionel Messi & Inter Miami: How they achieved Leagues Cup glory

Messi celebration

Seven games into his Inter Miami CF career, Lionel Messi has lifted silverware with his new club.

While Leagues Cup 2023 marks Miami's first-ever title, the GOAT is rather accustomed to these sensations. The 2022 World Cup champion now has a world-record 44 trophies for club and country, surpassing former FC Barcelona teammate Dani Alves (43) in that category.

From a Hollywood-esque debut to Saturday's epic final, here's how they pulled it off – all as Messi earned the Leagues Cup Best Player and Top Scorer awards with 10 goals and four assists.

2-1 win vs. Cruz Azul
Group Stage | July 21

Messi performance: 1g/0a

Messi, 40 minutes after subbing on for his Inter Miami debut, scored a walk-off game-winner just six days after his landmark, transformative deal was formally announced.

The magical moment sealed a 2-1 victory over Liga MX side Cruz Azul, starting their group stage with a flourish.

4-0 win vs. Atlanta United
Group Stage | July 25

Messi performance: 2g/2a

Inter Miami's superstar signing pulled off the spectacular in a 4-0 victory, scoring twice inside 22 minutes of their group-stage showdown with Atlanta United to book a knockout-round spot.

The first-half brace, supplemented by Robert Taylor scoring two goals, arrived in Messi's first-ever Inter Miami start.

3-1 win vs. Orlando City SC
Round of 32 | Aug. 2

Messi performance: 2g/0a

Messi's dream start to life with Inter Miami took a rivalry-inspired twist, scoring a second-straight brace in a 3-1 win over Florida rival Orlando City SC to jumpstart their knockout-round push.

4-4 draw (5-3 PKs win) at FC Dallas
Round of 16 | Aug. 6

Messi performance: 2g/1a

Messi, much like on his storybook-esque debut, scored a world-class free kick for Inter Miami in their Round-of-16 match at FC Dallas.

The 85th-minute stunner sealed a 4-4 comeback draw and forced penalty kicks. He also scored in the 6th minute to start the back-and-forth thriller, one-timing home a low cross from former FC Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba.

4-0 win vs. Charlotte FC
Quarterfinal | Aug. 11

Messi performance: 1g/0a

Just when it looked like Messi might end his goalscoring run, he capped a 4-0 quarterfinal rout of Charlotte FC. Picked out by striker Leo Campana, he made no mistake with a comfortable left-footed finish in the 86th minute.

4-1 win at Philadelphia Union
Semifinal | Aug. 15

Messi performance: 1g/1a

The GOAT added yet another majestic strike to his Inter Miami account, beating Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake from nearly 35 yards out in a 4-1 semifinal victory at Subaru Park.

The 20th-minute golazo added to yet another lightning-quick start for the Herons and booked them a trophy date.

1-1 draw (10-9 PKs win) at Nashville SC
Final | Aug. 19

Messi performance: 1g/0a

Messi's inevitability helped deliver the 2023 Leagues Cup title over Nashville SC, curling home a trademark left-footed finish in the 23rd minute. The hosts surrounded Messi with several defenders, but he still went upper-90 for a 1-0 lead.

While Fafà Picault equalized for the hosts, Miami for their first-ever trophy. Messi, as one might expect, started the scoring from the spot.