Barca smash 6 past Miami side in a goals-galore fixture
Barcelona new boy Raphinha scored and assisted twice in a 6-0 thrashing of Inter Miami on Tuesday, while Romeo Beckham and Harvey Neville made cameo debuts for the hosts.
The 25-year-old Brazilian forward guided Xavi’s team to an easy victory over the MLS club, which is owned by England legend David Beckham and coached by Phil Neville.
While Raphinha’s debut was memorable, it was an eye-opening experience for the sons of the two former Manchester United stars, with Harvey Neville given a full half by his father against the Catalan giants, and Romeo Beckham making his debut with only four minutes remaining.
Barcelona’s newest addition, Robert Lewandowski, was in the stands, having completed his £42.5 million move from Bayern Munich last week.
The Poland striker observed his new teammates in action as they ran riot in Fort Lauderdale, but one man who couldn’t attend the game was manager Xavi.
According to reports, the Barcelona CEO is still unable to resolve the visa issues that have prevented him from entering the United States.
While he will be disappointed that he was not to see the triumph in person, he will be pleased with how his squad handled the MLS side in a game that Inter Miami manager Neville dubbed “the biggest in the club’s brief existence.”
Raphinha, who joined Leeds United for £55 million earlier this month, set up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scored in the 19th minute. Six minutes later, he enhanced his lead with a left-footed effort.
Ansu Fati, a teenage wonder who is slowly returning to form after a lengthy injury layoff, scored Barcelona’s third goal just before halftime after another ball from Raphinha.
Barca made wholesale changes at halftime, changing all eleven players, but they continued to dominate, scoring three more goals through Gavi, Memphis Depay, and Ousmane Dembele.
Frenkie de Jong, a Manchester United target, also appeared in the second half, replacing new acquisition Franck Kessie in what was a strong Barcelona team for the friendly at the DRV PNK Stadium.
With four minutes remaining, Neville, who had given his own kid a full half to impress, substituted Beckham Jnr.
Beckham has yet to play in the MLS, whilst Neville made his debut in May.
It was the first of four games on Barcelona’s pre-season tour of the United States, which will conclude on Saturday with a Clasico encounter against arch rivals Real Madrid in Las Vegas.
Raphinha told reporters, ‘I think we’re better than Real Madrid.’
‘I’m overjoyed to have scored my first goal and for my debut to have gone so well.’ I felt fantastic. I’m hoping to keep going like this.
‘Of course, I want to score against Real Madrid on Saturday.’ Scoring gives you confidence, and scoring against a team like Real Madrid gives you even more.’
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