Will Lionel Messi really go to Inter Miami?


Leo Messi in Inter Miami Jersey

On Wednesday, one of the long-standing dreams in Major League Soccer became a reality as Lionel Messi, the most renowned and arguably the greatest soccer player of all time, agreed to join Inter Miami. In an interview with Spanish newspapers Mundo Deportivo and Sport, Messi revealed, "I have decided to go to Miami. Although there are still some details to be sorted out, I have chosen to proceed on this path."

After months of intense speculation, Messi opted for the United States over a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year. He also turned down the opportunity to return to his beloved Barcelona, the team where he had spent the first 16 years of his illustrious career.

"The truth is, I received offers from another European team, but I didn't even consider them because my sole intention in Europe was to join Barcelona," Messi stated. "After winning the World Cup and not being able to go to Barça, I felt it was the right time to experience football in a different way and enjoy the day-to-day life in the United States league. Of course, I will continue to approach the game with the same responsibility and desire to win, always striving to perform well, but in a more relaxed manner."

Messi, aged 35, will be making his move to MLS less than a year after achieving the pinnacle of his career by winning the men's World Cup with Argentina. He has an impressive track record, having won the UEFA Champions League four times, the Spanish league 10 times, and the French league twice. Additionally, he claimed victory in the 2021 Copa América and the 2008 Olympics with Argentina.

When will Lionel Messi debut for Inter Miami?

Messi concluded his final match for PSG on June 3, with his contract set to expire on June 30. It is expected that he will take a break before joining MLS and returning to the field. According to a source familiar with discussions in the league, The Inquirer reported that Messi is unlikely to make his debut until August.

In any case, during the regular season, Messi will not come to Philadelphia as Miami will be visiting Subaru Park on June 24. Whether he would come during the playoffs depends on Miami's ability to move out of last place in the Eastern Conference.

"If Messi makes his debut during the Leagues Cup tournament between MLS and Mexico's Liga MX, a trip to Miami would require them to defeat either Atlanta or Mexico's Cruz Azul in the group stage and then advance to the semifinals.

Once the regular season resumes, Miami will host Charlotte on August 20 and then visit the New York Red Bulls on August 26. Regardless of the circumstances, that game is definitely worth marking on your calendar.

In addition to being the closest scheduled game for Messi in relation to Philadelphia, it will also be his second visit to Red Bull Arena in recent months. In September, Messi scored against the Union's Andre Blake and Damion Lowe there during Argentina's victory over Jamaica in a World Cup warm-up match.

If you're interested in traveling further to see Messi, make note of the games scheduled at NFL stadiums: September 16 in Atlanta, October 4 in Chicago, and October 21 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Also, be sure to mark the September 3 game at Los Angeles FC, as MLS headquarters will surely be paying attention.

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