Inter Miami CF owner David Beckham has reacted to claims that his side's matches are fixed after their incredible run of results since Lionel Messi's arrival.
The Herons are yet to lose a match since Messi arrived in the USA. La Pulga has guided them to their first-ever title in the process, with the team winning the 2023 Leagues Cup earlier this week. Messi finished as the player of the tournament and its top-scorer with 10 goals in seven matches.
Following Miami's incredible uptick in fortunes, some fans suggested that the matches might be fixed. They referenced the quality of defending by some of the teams and the fact that Miami's games have inevitably involved last-minute goals or tense penalty shootouts.
David Beckham, however, believes such claims are a massive compliment to his side and their marquee trio of Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. The Manchester United legend said in an interview after Inter Miami's Leagues Cup final win over SC Nashville (as quoted by the Mirror):
“Every time Leo [Messi] scores one of these goals, every time Busi [Busquets] makes one of these passes, every time Jordi makes one of these runs, people say ‘Is it a fix?’ It’s the biggest compliment that anyone can give these players because it is like a movie.
“You watch these players play and it’s emotional because everything about their play is beautiful. Everything about their mannerisms is beautiful and everything about them as individuals, off the pitch, is beautiful.”
Messi has recorded 10 goals and three assists in eight matches for Inter Miami, while Alba has scored once and assisted twice in five appearances. Busquets is yet to record a goal contribution but has been the heartbeat of the Herons' displays with his ball retention and immaculate distribution.
Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba guide Inter Miami to US Open Cup final days after Leagues Cup win
Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba played key roles once again to guide Inter Miami CF to the US Open Cup final on Wednesday, August 23. The trio of Barcelona legends played all 120 minutes of the Herons' semifinal win over FC Cincinnati at the latter's home.
Messi failed to score for the first time for Miami in the match against Cincinnati. However, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner assisted Leonardo Campana twice in regulation time, including once in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time. His assists helped his team come back from a two-goal deficit to force extra-time.
Lionel Messi also scored with their opening kick of the penalty shootout after both teams scored once apiece in extra-time as the game ended 3-3. Facundo Farias, David Ruiz, Josef Martinez and Benjamin Cremaschi also netted from the spot to hand Inter Miami a 5-4 win on penalties.
Busquets, meanwhile, completed 84% of his passes and a dribble, while making three interceptions, two tackles, a block and a clearance. The Spaniard also laid out a key pass and won four fouls as well as eight of his 16 duels.
Alba completed 81% of his passes and recorded a key pass as well as a successful dribble. He also won four of his six duels and made two tackles.
Lionel Messi and Co. will meet Houston Dynamo FC in the US Open Cup final on September 27.