He scored another pair against Orlando City as Inter Miami progressed to the round of 16 thanks to a 3-1 victory.
Messi’s first goal in the match of the round of 32 hit a recognizable goal celebration and got the fans talking, especially after celebrations in the same vein in the previous game against Atlanta.
With the GOAT now full-time at his new MLS club, here’s what we know about his new goal celebration trend.
Lionel Messi Marvel’s Avengers goal celebrations
In Lionel Messi’s first start for Inter Miami on July 25, he ran the show as he scored twice and assisted a third as they trounced Atlanta United 4-1 to win their MLS Leagues Cup group.
Messi celebrated one of his goals with a motion that had fans a bit confused.
As the Argentine stuck his arm out towards the sideline and clenched his hand, some thought it was a Darth Vader motion. Instead, Messi’s family clarified that he was imitating Avengers hero Thor.
Then, against Orlando City a week later in the Round of 32, Messi struck for another two goals. After the first, he did a far more recognizable motion, bringing his arms to his chest in a cross to imitate the Wakanda Forever signal, another Avengers call-back.
It is highly likely that Lionel Messi is trying to draw attention to the commercial partnership recently hinted at by Major League Soccer.
MLS, along with apparel company Adidas, confirmed a partnership with Marvel in late June that includes three different editions.
The league first unveiled the Avengers-inspired ball, which was used in the MLS All-Star Game against Arsenal in mid-July. There was also Captain America themed clothing as well as clothing with other Avengers characters that followed.
“The collaboration between Major League Soccer and adidas Marvel captures the unique spirit, confident attitude and diverse environment that embodies the sport of soccer,” MLS said in a statement after the collaboration was announced.
So with that in mind, could Messi be fulfilling his contractual obligations with his goal celebrations? Or is it that his kids are big fans and it really is a family affair?
It would be unusual for any player to have any commercial deal dictate the celebrations, but Messi’s arrival in the United States was anything but ordinary.
With Messi receiving financial windfalls from both Apple and Adidas as part of his deal with Inter Miami, it would make sense for him to push for an MLS partnership in some of his most visible moments. His recent visit to the Publix supermarket chain had similar thoughts.