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Inter Miami
Major League Soccer
Mar 2, 2024 at 9.30pm UK
Inter Miami CF Stadium
Orlando City

Inter Miami
5 - 0
Orlando City

Suarez (4', 11'), Taylor (29'), Messi (57', 62')
Gomez (51'), Campana (83'), Allen (86')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Jansson (33')

Lionel Messi scores 500th career league goal in big Inter Miami win

Messi scores 500th career league goal in big Inter Miami win
© Reuters
Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi scores his 500th career league goal in Saturday's commanding 5-0 victory over Orlando City.

World Cup winner Lionel Messi brought up 500 career league goals in Inter Miami's dominant 5-0 win over Orlando City.

Messi went into Saturday's contest with 498 league goals after he scored a late equaliser in Inter Miami's recent draw with LA Galaxy.

Luis Suarez got his side off to the perfect start, netting a brace inside the opening 11 minutes against Orlando at Chase Stadium.

Robert Taylor added another in the 29th minute, before Messi put the ball in from close range after Robin Jansson desperately cleared it against his own crossbar.

Messi then produced a clinical header from Suarez's lofted cross to wrap up a 5-0 win and reach 500 career league goals.

Inter Miami's Lionel Messi reacts during the match on January 20, 2024© Reuters

The Argentine's second effort also represented his first headed goal since nodding home in Barcelona's 2-1 defeat to Celta Vigo in May 2021

Incidentally, the 36-year-old registered his 500th league goal just over a year after his long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo achieved the same feat.

However, Messi managed to reach the landmark in fewer games, scoring 500 league goals in 587 matches compared to Ronaldo who hit the milestone in 657 appearances.

The World Cup winner registered the majority of those goals during his long association with Catalan giants Barcelona.

Messi racked up 474 goals in 520 La Liga appearances before he swapped Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2021.

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi pictured in December 2020© Reuters

The eight-time Ballon d'Or winner went on to score 22 times in 58 Ligue 1 games during his two-year stay in the French capital.

Although he joined Inter Miami last summer, Messi's made a greater contribution to the Leagues Cup campaign rather than the 2023 MLS season, scoring 10 of his 11 goals in the cup competition to help the franchise claim their first piece of silverware.

However, he has made a positive start to the 2024 MLS campaign, scoring three goals and providing one assist in the opening three matches.

Messi could have the chance to score in another competition on Thursday evening when Tata Martino's side travel to Nashville for the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions Cup last-16 tie.

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Inter Miami CF midfielder Diego Gomez (20) reacts with teammates on February 22, 2024
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3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia7340149513
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3Houston DynamoHouston741297213
4Real Salt LakeSalt Lake8332118312
5Colorado RapidsColorado83321312112
6Los Angeles FCLos Angeles83231312111
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8Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd7322109111
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14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes81071020-103

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