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Lionel Messi has finally decided on the next step in his illustrious career, with the star forward agreeing to join Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami.
There had been plenty of talk about switches to former club Barcelona and a transfer to Saudi Arabia, but the 2022 World Cup winner has ended that talk with a move to Florida.
The Argentine is still contracted to current club PSG until June 30th, and is set to officially make the switch to Inter Miami on July 5th. But when will he make his debut for his new club?
Potential Messi Inter Miami debut
July 8 – D.C. United
Even though Messi will officially become an Inter Miami player on July 5th, he will perhaps be in and around the club before then, meaning he could potentially be in shape to take on D.C. United three days later.
But Messi will definitely be in need of a much-deserved break after playing all season for PSG, a campaign that was also interrupted by the 2022 World Cup, where of course Messi went all the way with Argentina.
Moreover, the MLS clash with D.C. United is away from home, meaning it is very unlikely that his new club will want to unveil him to a small section of away fans rather than a delirious home support in Miami.
July 19 – MLS All-Star Game
Inter Miami won’t like it too much, but Messi’s first match in America might not even be for his own team, with his USA debut potentially coming in the MLS All-Star Game on July 19th.
The match against Premier League giants Arsenal at DC United’s Audi Field is the league’s annual showpiece fixture, and could represent a stunning unveiling of new MLS icon Messi.
July 21 – Cruz Azul
Again, there is a chance that the Barcelona legend could make his Inter Miami debut outside of the league, with MLS rolling out a new tournament called Leagues Cup.
There is perhaps no better way to market such a tournament than introducing the best player in world football, with Messi potentially lining out for his new club for the very first time when they take on Cruz Azul on July 21st at their own DRV PNK Stadium.
July 25 – Atlanta United
Inter Miami continue their matches in this new competition – that sees MLS clubs come up against Liga MX clubs – with another home meeting, this time against Atlanta United on July 25th.
Messi’s new club could have more fixtures in the tournament if they make it through this first stage, increasing the number of matches that he could play in during the early stages at his new side.
August 20 – Charlotte FC – Likely Messi debut?
Of course, given Messi’s strenuous season in France, there is every chance that he won’t be seen in MLS until Inter Miami take on Charlotte FC on August 20th.
It’s a home match, and one that will take place in a time when the Argentine will have been used to playing in pre-season while in Europe anyway.
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