Lionel Messi set for Inter Miami debut in Leagues Cup opener

Fort Lauderdale, FL –

The day has come for Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami debut.

Messi is set to face Cruz Azul in a League Cup match at Inter Miami’s new home stadium on Friday night. Thousands of tickets were made available for resale on the secondary market on Friday morning, but the roughly 21,000 tickets at the newly expanded stadium were all sold out, team officials said.

It’s unclear how much Messi, who Argentina’s World Cup champion and Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham calls the greatest player of all time, will be on the field in his debut. He signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Inter Miami last weekend, which will bring him between $50 million and $60 million a year. This will almost certainly be more than US$1 million per match.

He was introduced to his new home fans on Sunday and had his first formal training as a member of the club on Tuesday.

Messi made the decision to come to Major League Soccer by joining Inter Miami in June. After spending the last two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain, he considered a return to Barcelona, ​​the club he spent most of his career with.

But Inter Miami and MLS have found a way to sign the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, setting the stage for an unprecedented era for the club after a largely unsuccessful first four seasons.

The League Cup is a tournament between clubs in the MLS and Mexico’s top league, Liga MX. Cruz Azul won the first edition of the event in 2019.

Neither club has had much success this season. Inter Miami have the fewest points in the MLS standings. Cruz Azul are the only team in the Mexican League who have yet to record a standings point through the first three games of the season.

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