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In June 1978, George Best ran out at a packed Lockhart Stadium to make his debut for Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the North American Soccer League.

Best was past his prime but still able to turn on the magic, scoring twice in a 5-3 win over New York Cosmos.

Forty five years later, Lionel Messi played his first game for Inter Miami at the very same location, in a stadium built on the same site as Fort Lauderdale Strikers’ old home. Just like Best, he didn’t disappoint, bagging a late winner.

Since MLS began in 1996 to replace the defunct NASL, David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thierry Henry have sprinkled their stardust, as football tries to find its place in a sports-mad country with varying degrees of success.

The signing of Messi, though, was the transfer coup to end all transfer coups. Whether he can help Inter Miami become champions this year remains to be seen, but his impact off the pitch will determine whether his time Stateside is successful. Globally he’s bigger than NFL star Patrick Mahomes or NBA ace LeBron James, but can he make MLS a force both in America and internationally? Time will tell, but it should be a fun watch.









James Andrew @JamesAndrew_ @FourFourTwo




1 2 3 4 5

Which popular former Everton centre-forward once jumped

over a Mini

Which legend

had a spell playing for Australian side Perth Azzurri

Which player was struck by a bullet during a recent match

in Ireland

Which former Ipswich striker worked as an agent for Diego


Who once got a vasectomy from a ferret in Harry Kane’s

new house

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