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Soccer

Scenes From Lionel Messi’s Return to North Texas

The sequel did not match up to the original, but it's still the best soccer player of all time, and we still shot some pretty snazzy photos.
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The best to ever do it was back in North Texas. Photo by Lauren Ruminer.
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Scenes From Lionel Messi’s Return to North Texas

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Back in early August, the biggest story in North Texas was the absurdly anticipated arrival of Lionel Messi in Frisco. This was as much for what we might see when his Inter Miami squad faced FC Dallas as the widely mooted possibility that it might be the only time the greatest soccer player ever came to town. And to his credit, Messi delivered a performance that exceeded even the most outsized expectations, one guaranteed to endure in the memories of the 19,096 people who crammed into Toyota Stadium to see it for themselves. If there was no next time, then the first time would more than do.

Turns out, though, there was a return trip—and in the Cotton Bowl, no less. The second coming of Messi came and went with far less fanfare than the first, which you are welcome to attribute to the weather, a busier time of year on the sports calendar, less novelty, or parts of all those. The crowd was, to put it mildly, sparser. (At least FC Dallas won this time, 1-0, after dropping the first match, 4-2.)

But it’s still Lionel Messi, and so it was still worth documenting. Our Lauren Ruminer, who beautifully photographed that debut match in Frisco, did just that.

Here’s what the action looked like in the Cotton Bowl.

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Mike Piellucci

Mike Piellucci

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Mike Piellucci is D Magazine's sports editor. He is a former staffer at The Athletic and VICE, and his freelance…
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