Lionel Messi, one of the greatest soccer players of all time, has shocked the world by announcing his move to Inter Miami, the Major League Soccer (MLS) club owned by David Beckham. Messi, who won six Ballon d’Or awards and four Champions League titles with Barcelona, has decided to leave Europe and join the growing league in the United States.
Messi’s arrival is a huge boost for Inter Miami, who are currently struggling at the bottom of the Eastern Conference in their second season in MLS. It is also a historic moment for MLS, which has never seen a player of Messi’s caliber and popularity join its ranks.
But when will Messi play his first game for Inter Miami? How can you watch him in action? What are his goals and expectations? In this blog post, we will answer these questions and more, as we give you everything you need to know about Messi’s move to Miami.
When Will Messi Play His First Game for Inter Miami?
According to Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas, Messi will make his debut for the club on July 21, when they face Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup, a tournament that pits MLS teams against Liga MX teams. The game will take place at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Inter Miami’s home ground.
Mas confirmed the news to Axios on June 20, saying: “We are thrilled to have Lionel Messi join Inter Miami. He is a generational talent who will elevate our club and our league. He will make his debut on July 21 against Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup. We can’t wait to see him on the field.”
Messi’s MLS debut, however, will have to wait until August 20, when Inter Miami host Charlotte FC at DRV PNK Stadium. This is because the Leagues Cup games do not count as regular season games, and Inter Miami have a break from MLS action until August 20 due to the tournament.
How Can You Watch Messi Play for Inter Miami?
If you want to watch Messi play for Inter Miami, you have several options. You can either buy tickets to attend the games live at DRV PNK Stadium or other venues, or you can watch them on TV or online.
To buy tickets to Inter Miami games, you can visit the club’s official website or use third-party platforms like TicketSmarter or Ticketmaster. The prices vary depending on the game, the seat, and the demand. For example, tickets to Inter Miami’s game against Cruz Azul on July 21 range from $40 to $495, while tickets to Inter Miami’s game against Charlotte FC on August 20 range from $25 to $150.
To watch Inter Miami games on TV or online, you can use different services depending on your location and preference. In the United States, most MLS games are broadcast by ESPN, Fox Sports, Univision, or CBS Sports. You can also stream them on ESPN+, Fox Sports Go, Univision Now, Paramount+, or fuboTV. In addition, some local channels may show regional games. For example, My33 and CW34 show Inter Miami games in South Florida.
Outside of the United States, you can watch MLS games on various networks depending on your country. For example, in Argentina, you can watch them on ESPN or Star+. You can also use online platforms like DAZN or Fanatiz to stream them. To find out which network shows MLS games in your country, you can check this list.
What Are Messi’s Goals and Expectations?
Messi has said that he chose to join Inter Miami because he wanted a new challenge and a different lifestyle for himself and his family. He also said that he was impressed by David Beckham’s vision and ambition for the club and the league.
“I made the decision that I’m going to go to Miami,” Messi said in a press conference on June 7. “I still haven’t closed it 100% percent. I’m missing some things, but we decided to continue on the path. If the Barcelona thing didn’t work out, I wanted to leave Europe, get out of the spotlight and think more of my family.”
Messi added that he hopes to help Inter Miami grow and compete for titles in MLS and beyond. He also said that he wants to enjoy playing soccer and have fun with his new teammates and fans.
“My goal is to help Inter Miami become a great club in MLS and in America,” Messi said. “I want to win trophies with them and make history. I also want to enjoy playing soccer again and have fun with my new teammates and fans. I’m very excited about this new adventure.”
Messi’s arrival has raised expectations for Inter Miami, who are currently last in the Eastern Conference with eight points from 11 games. The club has struggled to find consistency and identity since joining MLS in 2020, and has faced several challenges, including a stadium dispute, a coaching change, and a league sanction.
However, with Messi on board, Inter Miami hope to turn things around and become a force in MLS and beyond. The club has also signed other players to complement Messi, such as Gonzalo Higuaín, Blaise Matuidi, Rodolfo Pizarro, and Kieran Gibbs.
Inter Miami’s co-owner and president David Beckham said that he is confident that Messi will make a positive impact on the club and the league. He also said that he is proud to have Messi as part of his project and his dream.
“Lionel Messi is a world-class player who will make our club and our league better,” Beckham said in a statement on June 7. “He is a winner who knows how to lead and inspire. He is also a humble and generous person who cares about his community and his fans. I’m proud to have him as part of our project and our dream. I can’t wait to see him play for Inter Miami.”
The Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about Messi’s move to Miami and their answers:
How much will Messi earn at Inter Miami?
Messi’s salary at Inter Miami has not been officially disclosed, but it is estimated to be around $30 million per year, according to The Athletic. This would make him the highest-paid player in MLS history, surpassing the previous record of $7.2 million per year set by Zlatan Ibrahimović at LA Galaxy.
How long is Messi’s contract with Inter Miami?
Messi’s contract with Inter Miami is reportedly for three years, with an option for a fourth year, according to The Athletic. This means that Messi could play for Inter Miami until 2026, when he will be 39 years old.
How did Inter Miami afford to sign Messi?
Inter Miami were able to sign Messi thanks to the Designated Player rule in MLS, which allows each club to sign up to three players whose salaries exceed the league’s salary cap. Inter Miami used one of their Designated Player slots for Messi, while the other two are occupied by Higuaín and Pizarro.
Inter Miami also received financial assistance from MLS, which agreed to pay part of Messi’s salary as part of a special marketing deal, according to The Athletic. This deal is similar to the one that MLS made with LA Galaxy when they signed Beckham in 2007.
How will Messi fit in Inter Miami’s system?
Messi is expected to play as a forward or an attacking midfielder for Inter Miami, depending on the formation and the tactics of the coach. Messi is known for his versatility and creativity, as he can play in different positions and roles depending on the situation. He can also link up well with his teammates and create chances for himself and others.
Inter Miami’s current coach is Phil Neville, a former teammate of Beckham at Manchester United and England. Neville has used different formations and systems since taking charge of Inter Miami in January 2023, but he usually prefers a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 formation. Neville has said that he is excited to work with Messi and that he will adapt his style to suit Messi’s strengths.
“I’m delighted to have Lionel Messi as part of our team,” Neville said in a press conference on June 7. “He is a phenomenal player who can make a difference in any game. He is also a great leader who can motivate and inspire his teammates. I’m looking forward to working with him and finding the best way to integrate him into our system. I’m sure he will fit in perfectly and help us achieve our goals.”