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21st Jun 2023

Inter Miami owner confirms date and opponent for Lionel Messi’s debut

Callum Boyle

Lionel Messi

Messi has yet to feature for his new side

Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas has revealed when the club are planning to give Lionel Messi his debut.

Messi joined the MLS side from Paris Saint-Germain after his contract with the French giants expired but having played a full season already, has been given some time off to recover.

But Inter Miami are planning to have the World Cup winner ready for a cup game against Mexican side, Cruz Azul on July 21.

Tickets for the game have already gone on sale, with the cheapest price reportedly starting at $1,387 via SeatGeek.

Lionel MessiLionel Messi should make his Inter Miami debut in mid July. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

‘Before and after’ Lionel Messi in the MLS

Although there have been reports that Messi’s deal with his new club has similarities to David Beckham’s move to LA Galaxy in 2007, it has been confirmed that the league will not subsidise the transfer.

“No rules are being changed to incorporate Messi on to Inter Miami’s roster,” May told local media.

“I think there will always be a ‘before and after Messi’ when we talk about the sport in the United States.

“I cannot overemphasise the magnitude of this announcement. Having the world’s greatest player here is something that is significant for our league, and for the football ecosystem in the United States… Lionel Messi is coming to this country to win cups and make a difference.

“I think it’s incumbent upon myself and my partners in the league, the other owners, to seize the moment.”

In addition to signing Messi, Inter Miami are also reportedly close to signing his former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets. According to Catalan radio station RAC1, talks are at an advanced stage and it could be made official this week.


Read next: Summer transfer window 2023: Follow the latest updates live in our hub.

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