• Tue. Sep 26th, 2023

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Smith: Don’t forget Hany Mukhtar’s ‘very special’ Messi Mania!

Smith: Don't forget Hany Mukhtar's 'very special' Messi Mania!

At least that was the case on Sunday night after Nashville SC defeated Colorado Rapids, 2-1, at GEODIS Park to start their League Cup campaign with confidence. And as usual, Hany Mukhtar starred for the Music City club, scoring one goal and assisting one after subbing in the 55th minute.

But what about the free-kick goal that the GOAT scored two nights earlier, wowing the global soccer world and going viral on social media to secure Inter Miami CF’s 2-1 win over Cruz Azul in the MX League?! And it came in the 94th minute of Messi’s debut – a storybook ending with the Argentine superstar joining the league.

Admitting that few players can compare to the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, Nashville head coach Gary Smith entertained the postgame topic while praising his own star forward.

“Haven’t you seen this guy score a free-kick like that?” I’m not trying to compare Hany to Lionel Messi. What I’m trying to say is that this guy right now is, if not the best player [in MLS], he is definitely in the top spots. He has performed at an incredible level for the past three years,” Smith said, recognizing Mukhtar as the reigning Landon Donovan MLS MVP and Golden Boot presented by Audi winner.

“Now, what I saw that night was incredible from Lionel Messi – and I have to expect that he didn’t train very much either, but the quality of the game, just the confidence he brought out from other players. Can’t we see that from this gentleman next to me for our group?

“So, Lionel Messi is a great signing not only for Miami, but for the league of course as well.” But we’re talking about the game tonight and let’s not forget what this guy does because he’s very special.”