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Who were the top scorers in the 2023 Leagues Cup?

Inter Miami triumphed with a penalty shoot out win over Nashville SC in the final. Lionel Messi was once again on the scoresheet for the Herons.

Messi finishes as Leagues Cup top scorer
Eric HartlineUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The inaugural edition of the expanded Leagues Cup was won by Inter Miami, who lifted the trophy after a thrilling penalty shoot out victory over Nashville SC.

Lionel Messi opened the scoring for Miami in the first half, before Fafa Picault pulled one back for Nashville after the break. Messi’s sublime strike from the edge of the box was his 10th goal in seven matches, an incredible tally that saw him end the tournament as top goal scorer.

Minnesota United’s Bongokuhle Hlongwane impressed in the early rounds and had notched seven League Cups strikes by the quarter-final stage, before his side were eliminated by Nashville.

LAFC forward Denis Bouanga ended in third in the scoring charts with six goals for the reigning MLS Cup champions. Completing the top five were Brandon Vazquez (FC Cincinnati) and German Berterame (Monterrey) who each scored five goals.

Messi not only led the scoring charts, but was also well ahead of the field when it came to goals outside of the 18-yard box. The Argentinian World Cup winner scored from distance five times, including two direct free kicks. No other player scored more than two long-range efforts.

Messi podría disputar la Copa Interamericana
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Inter Miami's Argentine forward #10 Lionel Messi celebrates scoring in the semifinal against Philadelphia Union.ANGELA WEISSAFP

Leagues Cup top scoring clubs

Unsurprisingly, eventual winners Inter Miami ended the Leagues Cup with more goals than any other team. The Herons struck 22 goals in seven games, a rate of more than three goals per game.

Strangely, they have also scored 22 goals in MLS so far this season; however it has taken them 22 league matches to reach that figure. Since Messi was added to the side, Miami are scoring three times as many goals per game.

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The team with the second-best scoring record were finalists Nashville, with 16 goals in the tournament. However they have spread the goals around their team and no one has scored more than three goals for the Boys in Gold. Fafa Pucault and Sam Surridge have scored top-scored for Nashville.

Leagues Cup top assist-makers

If Lionel Messi was the talisman for Miami, Nashville had one of their own in Hany Mukhtar. The reigning MLS MVP was their chief creative threat throughout the tournament and finished the 2023 Leagues Cup with six assists, the joint-most in the competition.

Minnesota’s Emanuel Reynoso also recorded six assists in the Leagues Cup.

Behind them, Robert Taylor (Inter Miami) and Jacob Shaffelburg (Nashville SC) each managed five assists.