Lionel Messi is still on vacation – but there’s already an approximate date for his MLS debut thanks to Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas. According to the Miami Herald, they’re looking at a July 21st premiere date where the team is scheduled to play a Leagues Cup match against Cruz Azul at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. And even without a solid confirmation of when Lionel Messi will play, the prices for Inter Miami tickets have already skyrocketed.
“I think there will always be a ‘before and after Messi’ when we talk about the sport in the United States,” Mas also told the Miami Herald. “I cannot overemphasize 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.”
Messi recently played a friendly with Argentina against Australia, which his team won 2-0. He is not expected to take part in any other official games till the July 21st date put forward by Mas, though there have been reports that Messi will be present in the goodbye games for two Argentinian players and former teammates, to be played in the next few days – that of Maxi Rodríguez, which will be played June 24th and Juan Román Riquelme, which will be played June 25th, both in Argentina.
Whether Messi really ends up playing in either or both of those games will probably end up hinging on the security at both events – but Messi, who will celebrate his 36th birthday on June 24th, and who is friends with both Maxi Rodríguez and Juan Román Riquelme, surely doesn’t consider showing up at either of those games work. He’s on vacation. July 21st will come, and his time at Inter Miami will begin.
For now, Lionel Messi is enjoying being the best player in the world, and a World Champion.