A photograph has emerged where it appears as though rapper Nathaniel Thompson, known professionally as Giggs, had subbed off Lionel Messi in the Leagues Cup match against fellow Major League Soccer side Atlanta United causing fans to break out in mirth.
Messi enjoyed himself in his first start for Inter Miami, helping them reach the next round of the competition, ready to host one of MLS sides Orlando City, Houston Dynamo, or Mexican outfit Santos Laguna in a knockout fixture at the start of August.
The World Cup winner, who scored two and assisted one in a thumping win for the Herons, was taken off by manager Tata Martino for Robbie Robinson in the 78th minute of the game.
As Messi walked off to take his seat on the bench, Giggs could be seen standing up in the foreground of the picture at that exact moment, appearing to be the one making the substitution with Vice City leading 4-0 at the time.
One response to the image pointed out that it looked as though the Whippin’ Excursion hitmaker made the choice to substitute the forward for a centre-back, going to a back five to see out the rest of the game.
The game ended without any further changes on the scoreboard but had plenty more to offer as substitute Christopher McVey was sent off for the Herons and Thiago Almada, also part of Argentina’s World Cup winning squad, missed the resulting penalty for the Five Stripes.
Another hypothesized that the picture indicated that the forward was being subbed for the British rapper while yet another pointed out that Messi was playing with a fire in his belly because he knew that his place was under threat from Giggs.
Music and football are starting to make for strange bedfellows as the 40-year-old was far from the only one in his line of work to occupy a seat in the stands.
In another image, Giggs was seen enjoying the game, seated between fellow musicians DJ Khaled and Diddy.
The London-born songwriter made the trip across the Atlantic to watch the game, with the Argentina and Inter Miami captain putting on a show.
Messi will need to do much more of the same if he is to help rescue the Herons’ season as they are presently placed bottom of the table in the Eastern Conference, 12 points behind D. C. United, the current occupants of the last MLS Cup playoff place.
Having been reunited in Miami with two of his friends and former Barcelona teammates in Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, Messi is a man on a mission, looking to take his side at least to the playoffs.