Messi: Inter Miami Star Scores 1st Goal of 2024 From the Spot Against Saudi League Giants Al Hilal

Messi: Inter Miami Star Scores 1st Goal of 2024 From the Spot Against Saudi League Giants Al Hilal

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at January 30, 2024 at 12:41 AM
In this article:
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
Inter Miami CF logo
Club Internacional de Futbol Miami
United States
Al-Hilal Saudi FC logo
Al-Hilal Saudi FC
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Professional League logo
KSA Professional League
Saudi Arabia
  • Lionel Messi has brought his goal-scoring drought in 2024 to an end
  • The Inter Miami captain coolly slotted from the penalty spot
  • He, however, ended on the losing side as Inter Miami lost to Al-Hilal

Lionel Messi finally notched his first goal of 2024 by converting a penalty in a friendly encounter against Al-Hilal, the record Saudi Pro League champions and current league leader.

Despite securing the 2023 FIFA The Best Men's Player accolade a few weeks earlier, Messi has faced a goal drought in his initial two matches of 2024, experiencing a draw (0-0 vs El Salvador) and a loss (1-0 vs FC Dallas) with Inter Miami.

Lionel Messi, Inter Miami, penalty, Riyadh Season Cup, Al-Hilal
Lionel Messi sent Habib Al Watyan the wrong way to open his goalscoring account in 2024. Photo by Yasser Bakhsh.
Source: Getty Images

Participating in this year's Riyadh Season Cup, where Al-Hilal, Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr, and the MLS team will be competing in a round-robin tournament, Messi successfully ended his goal-scoring dry spell.

Messi ends goal-scoring drought in 2024

The 36-year-old maestro adeptly dispatched a penalty from 12 yards, narrowing the scoreline for his team in the 54th minute, according to GOAL.

Additionally, he contributed an assist for David Ruiz, who finished the opportunity with finesse.

While Ruiz's goal garnered attention for its beauty, Messi's penalty stood out as the highlight, marking his first goal of the year.

Regrettably, despite Messi's goal and assist, Inter Miami couldn't secure a victory or draw, extending their winless streak with consecutive defeats.

The former Barcelona star Malcom sealed the victory for the opposition with a late goal, as cited by BVM Sports.

Messi advertises Saudi Arabia despite snub

In a related publication, Sports Brief reported that Lionel Messi continues to showcase Saudi Arabia on his Instagram page, even after rejecting the opportunity to join the country's league last year.

Despite opting for Major League Soccer ahead of a move to the Middle East, Messi maintains his ambassadorial role for Saudi Arabia.

The eight-time Ballon d'Or winner is presently in Saudi Arabia for pre-season friendlies, including a match against Ronaldo's Al-Nassr.

Collaborating with Visit Saudi, Messi posted a video highlighting some of the tourist attractions in the oil-rich state.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.