Messi is still killing at the age of 36.

Lionel Messi’s latest ridiculous MLS golazo has challenged our understanding of physics

On the face of it, Lionel Messi and the Beatles don’t have too much in common – but both cultural phenomena have managed to crack America.

In February 1964, the Beatles arrived in the United States and their televised performances on The Ed Sullivan Show were viewed by approximately 73 million people, cementing their instant popularity.

Messi is achieving something similar; Inter Miami matches have consistently sold out since his arrival in the MLS in 2023, with legions of devotees and a smattering of star-struck curiosities paying top dollar to see the Argentinian genius in action.

His latest appearance underlined the extent of the 36-year-old’s impact on American culture.

Sporting Kansas City normally plays their matches at Children’s Mercy park, which can only seat up to 21,500 fans.

Due to the immense hype surrounding Messi’s arrival in Kansas City, the club opted to move their game against Inter Miami to Arrowhead – a far larger stadium that seats approximately 76,000 people.

As expected, Messi drew a record-breaking crowd on Saturday, with more than 70,000 fans reportedly lining the stands.

Despite the game being played in Sporting KC’s home stadium, the majority of fans in attendance seemed to be supporting Miami – as was clear whenever Messi weaved his web of wonder.

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With Inter Miami trailing 1-0 in the 18th minute, Messi assisted Diego Gomez’s first-touch right-footer to level the game with an inch-perfect pass that brought to mind similar moments of magic at the Camp Nou.

And he wasn’t done. No chance.

In the second half, the pint-sized wizard received the ball on the edge of the penalty area and unleashed an unstoppable howitzer into the back of the net.

The stadium erupted. Across the world, leading physicists were left scratching their heads about how Messi had generated a shot more powerful than the heat from a thousand suns without breaking stride.

This was the kind of stuff MLS officials dreamed of when convincing Messi to relocate from Europe, the skill that would hopefully inspire a future golden generation of American players to unprecedented greatness.

“It was an amazing goal,” Miami midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi said. “He does this all the time, so it doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s normal from a guy like him.”

And it wasn’t just team-mates that were figuratively drooling over Messi’s exploits.

“The pass that Messi makes and the second goal, the ball that he hits where he hits it from, you don’t see that much in the MLS,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said. “They can punish you.”

While Sporting KC forward Daniel Salloi said: “Unbelievable player and he can create something out of thin air. It was a great experience to play against these guys.”

Messi won’t be around forever, meaning it’s crucial that Inter Miami and the MLS use his presence to give football a once-in-a-lifetime boost in a country that remains football’s ultimate frontier.

As Ian Nicholas Quillen noted in Forbes after the game, “Saturday night felt special. It felt like an event, not just at Arrowhead but around MLS. And that’s how it should feel every time the game’s greatest living player takes the field in your league.

“MLS and its clubs need to figure out how to recapture that more often.”

Messi has already captured American hearts like the Beatles did 60 years ago. But, unlike the musical quartet from Liverpool, his Stateside legacy remains unwritten and unknowable.

By Michael Lee