Messi lights up Times Square! Soccer fans celebrate the World Cup winner's goal on his MLS debut in the heart of the Big Apple as Inter Miami's win over New York Red Bulls is shown live

Messi lights up Times Square! Soccer fans celebrate the World Cup winner’s goal on his MLS debut in the heart of the Big Apple as Inter Miami’s win over New York Red Bulls is shown live

  • Lionel Messi’s league debut was streamed live on a Times Square billboard
  • The Argentine came off the bench to score on his MLS debut for Inter Miami
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news 

Soccer fans gathered in Times Square Saturday night to witness one of the most anticipated games in MLS history. 

Lionel Messi’s league debut was streamed live on one of the many billboards lighting up the heart of New York City. 

The spectators were made to wait as Tata Martino opted to rest his global superstar, starting him on the bench for Inter Miami’s clash against New York Red Bulls. 

However, the World Cup winner lit up one of New York’s most famous locations even more when he officially made his debut, coming off the bench in the 60th minute. 

And, despite playing for the city’s rivals, the Argentine sent the Big Apple wild as he delivered a dazzling debut, scoring a stunning goal in the 89th minute. 

Soccer fans gathered in Times Square Saturday night to witness Lionel Messi's MLS debuts

Soccer fans gathered in Times Square Saturday night to witness Lionel Messi’s MLS debuts

Messi delivered once again for Inter Miami in its 2-0 win over New York Red Bulls Saturday

Messi delivered once again for Inter Miami in its 2-0 win over New York Red Bulls Saturday

Supporters had packed the square, with some donning soccer jerseys – with and without his name on the back –  and broke into cheers as Messi fired the ball into the back of the net. 

Messi scored with the help of a pair of former Barcelona teammates.

Jordi Alba made an acrobatic leap for Sergio Busquets’ cross and with his back to the ground and left leg raised, Busquets used the side of his foot to center the ball to Messi. 

The 36-year-old star settled the ball to keep it from defender Peter Stroud, dribbled to his right and threaded a pass between Andrés Reyes and Daniel Edelman to 18-year-old American Benjamin Cremaschi.

As goalkeeper Carlos Coronel moved to cover the near post, Cremaschi beat defender John Tolkin and one-touched the ball back to Messi. 

The World Cup winner scored on his MLS debut Saturday night to double Miami's lead

The World Cup winner scored on his MLS debut Saturday night to double Miami’s lead

MLS and Red Bulls had announced the Times Square showing on social media

MLS and Red Bulls had announced the Times Square showing on social media

He sprinted toward goal and let it bounce off his left foot and in into the unguarded net from 3 yards for his 11th goal in nine games for Miami in all competitions.

The match drew a record crowd of 26,276 to Red Bull Arena in the Red Bulls´ first home sellout this season, and resale tickets were listed for over $1,000 in the week leading to the game.

But those watching the game weren’t limited to Harrison, New Jersey as fans who couldn’t get their hands on a ticket, opted for a cheaper option; watching the Messi show amid the glitz and glam of Broadway for free. 

MLS and Red Bulls had announced the Times Square showing on social media, with Messi featuring on the billboard and the caption: ‘A massive MLS matchup requires a massive screen.’

source: dailymail.co.uk