Gerardo 'Tata' Martino Reacts to Historic Lionel Messi Performance

Eight-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi broke the record for most assists and goal contributions in a single MLS game.
Inter Miami blew New York Red Bulls away at Chase Stadium
Inter Miami blew New York Red Bulls away at Chase Stadium / Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Inter Miami boss Gerardo "Tata" Martino wasn't surprised by Lionel Messi's record-breaking performance against New York Red Bulls, telling reporters post-match that the eight time Ballon d'Or winner "always does something new".

Messi set a new MLS record for most goal contributions and assists in a single game to help Miami come from a goal behind to win 6-2 at Chase Stadium.

First, Messi laid the ball off for Matias Rojas to smash home from long range, before scoring the go-ahead goal himself as Miami stole the ball deep in Red Bulls territory. He then laid on a further four assists, helping long-time buddy Luis Suarez to a superb hat-trick.

"All [goals] were fundamental to the game, but Leo did something historic tonight with five assists and one goal," Martino told the assembled press.

"But I can't forget Suarez's three goals and Rojas' two goals. The first, well both, but the first Rojas goal was amazing. But because of the technical aspect of Leo on the assist I will choose Luis Suárez's scissor goal as my favorite."

"Messi had exceptional games in Barcelona, during my time with him," Martino continued. "But I also remember a semifinal with Paraguay in the Copa America in Chile, where he didn't score a goal and he was still the best player on the field.

"In Barcelona, he had a game against Valencia where we were losing 2-0 and then won 3-2 with three goals from him. And there was another against Sevilla where we were losing 1-0 and then he scored three goals and we won 4-1. I always say this, and it's redundant at this point, but he always does something new. To have involvement in all six goals of a team's 6-2 is something that will be difficult to see again."

The seamless link-up play from Messi and Suarez showed they have lost none of the magic that sparkled during their hugely successful stint at FC Barcelona, despite both players now being in the twilight of their playing careers.

Maintaining momentum will be the key message to Messi, Suarez and the rest of Miami's team, who now sit comfortably at the top of MLS' Eastern Conference standings.

Toby Cudworth