Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi celebrates scoring Inter Miami's third goal during the round of 32 Leagues Cup match against Orlando City on Wednesday AFP / GIORGIO VIERA

Lionel Messi once again set the pitch on fire as he netted a superb long-range goal for Inter Miami in the Leagues Cup semi-final.

Messi, who has scored a goal in every match he has played for Inter Miami so far, found the back of the net from 30 yards out on Tuesday in his side's 4-1 win against Philadelphia Union. With the victory, Inter Miami reached their maiden Leagues Cup final.

Watch: Messi's goal from 30 yards

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner scored his ninth goal in six matches for his new club in front of a dynamic crowd at Chester's Subaru Park, with some tickets climbing past $1,000 on the resale market.

After Venezuelan striker Josef Martinez opened the scoring for Inter Miami, Messi picked out a corner against Philadelphia's Andre Blake, a three-time Major League Soccer (MLS) Goalkeeper of the Year.

Even the Philadelphia supporters went wild when Messi was introduced and erupted again when he scored past Blake, who probably could have done better. The Argentinian skipper ran with his arms extended and then punched his fist in the air as he leapt in celebration.

Jordi Alba and Martínez also scored in the first half for Inter Miami, while David Ruiz scored in the second. Alejandro Bedoya scored Philadelphia's sole goal in the second half.

Inter Miami qualify for Concacaf Champions Cup

Chasing their first-ever trophy, Inter Miami will play in the Leagues Cup final on Saturday at Geodis Park against home side Nashville.

The win against Philadelphia was a historic one for Inter Miami, extending the longest win streak in club history and clinching a spot in the continental competition, the Concacaf Champions Cup, for the first time.

Reacting to Inter Miami's qualification, a thrilled head coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino said, "Our goal was to qualify for international competition next season and we've done that tonight. The most important thing was achieving qualification for Concacaf Champions Cup, and now we have to prepare to win this tournament, which has us feeling very motivated and confident."

Messi, who is just six games into the Leagues Cup - a competition which comprises teams from MLS and Liga MX - has already become the all-time top scorer, with nine goals.

Earlier this week, Messi also scored against Charlotte, which was his 100th strike in the 2020s. He became just the fifth player in history to score 100+ goals in three different decades. From 2001 to 2010, Messi accumulated 169 goals and from 2011 to 2020, the talented forward scored a staggering 546 goals. The other four legends to have achieved the feat were Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas, Pele, and Romario.

Messi's most recent strike was the 816th of his career and the former FC Barcelona forward is slowly edging closer to arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo (844) at the top of the all-time scoring charts.

Leo Messi at Inter Miami: Stats

Ahead of the 2023-24 season, Messi moved from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to Inter Miami on a free transfer. Messi signed a two-year contract with the club that is co-owned by David Beckham. Following Messi's arrival in Miami, the MLS side also secured the services of his former Barcelona teammates Alba and Sergio Busquets.

Before Messi joined the team, Inter Miami had scored 22 goals in 22 games. Since the Argentinian forward's arrival, Miami has already netted 21 goals in just six games.

In the list of Inter Miami's all-time goal scorers, Messi is currently placed third with nine strikes, which is the same as his current teammates Martinez and Robert Taylor. But Martinez and Taylor have taken 30 and 66 games respectively to score nine goals, which is way more than Messi's six appearances.

The record for most goals for Inter Miami belongs to now-retired Gonzalo Higuaín, who was Messi's teammate at the Argentina national team. Higuain, who represented Inter Miami from 2020 to 2022, netted 29 goals in 70 matches. Ecuadorian forward Leonardo Campana is second in the list with 16 goals, out of which four he has scored in the current campaign.