Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba of Inter Miami.

In the home of Hollywood, Messi & his Barca chums went box-office with an absurd combination

All the focus has been on Lionel Messi since his move to Inter Miami, but his most recent showing has left us feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, thanks to a big helping of Barcelona-themed nostalgia.

Since arriving in the United States and whipping a winning free-kick top bins on his Inter Miami debut, it’s been nothing but magic from the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner who is clearly looking to expand his brand of immortality into new territory.

Messi has pretty much single-handedly turned around the fortunes of the franchise who were completely lost before his arrival, turning up and inspiring them to the 2023 Leagues Cup with an array of throwback performances.

The type of performances that would’ve had people fooled into thinking Phil Neville was destined for managerial greatness, if he were still in the job.

But today isn’t about our Fizzer. It’s not even about Messi, really. Inter Miami doubled their lead away to current MLS Cup holders Los Angeles FC with a goal that felt like it was made in Barcelona. A goal that gives us deja vu but for all the right reasons.

After heading to Miami, Messi was eventually joined by former Barcelona colleagues Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. Since then, the three have seemingly been doing their best in trying to convince everyone that they’re colourblind, and are confusing the pink of Inter Miami with the blue and red of Barcelona.

Seriously, their influence has been monstrous.

Just months ago they looked out of ideas and the fingers were being pointed at David Beckham, but the sudden acquisition of a spine that struck fear into every side in Europe for the best part of a decade now has the team pinging it around as if they’re prime Barca themselves, wherever they go.

It felt like a case of when and not if the trio would combine for a school reunion-type goal in Miami. We finally got that against LAFC, and it did not disappoint. They’ve rocked our world again.

Like a hot knife through butter. It’s just impossible to get bored of, isn’t it? A goal sculpted for Hollywood. Fitting, considering it was in LAFC’s backyard.

The three of them are on a completely different wavelength to the rest of the world, let alone the other footballers on the pitch.

Busquets fires a brilliant pass into Messi on the turn through the middle, allowing the Argentine to work his magic and thread through an eye of the needle ball to the overlapping Alba, leaving two defenders clueless as to how they’d been split so seamlessly.

Once the pass found Alba’s feet, it was game over. Inevitable. LAFC had felt the wrath that just about every top side in Europe and every La Liga club had to endure, season upon season.

On one hand, it was rather triggering watching the trio kick into gear like that again. It’s like a bad dream. But when you let go of that fear, it just feels so endlessly special to watch them in full stride, dancing their way from back to front in a matter of seconds.

Manufactured in Miami, but birthed in Barcelona. They’re timeless.

By Mitch Wilks

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