Lionel Messi Helps Lead Inter Miami to U.S. Open Cup Final with FC Cincinnati Win

Lionel Messi is celebrating a thrilling comeback…

The 36-year-old Argentine soccer star helped Inter Miami overcome a 2-0 deficit to beat FC Cincinnati on penalties on Wednesday to reach the final of the U.S. Open Cup after a dramatic night in Ohio.

Lionel MessiMessi delivered two exquisite crosses onto the head of striker Leonardo Campana, the second with just a minute of stoppage time remaining, to rescue his team and force extra time.

Substitute Josef Martínez looked to have completed the turnaround with a cool finish in the third minute of the added 30, but Cincinnati refused to lay down and made it 3-3 through Yuya Kubo to lead to a penalty shootout.

It was Miami’s second shootout in four days after beating Nashville SC in the Leagues Cup final on Saturday to lift its first trophy in club history.

Messi scored from the spot, but once again it was goalkeeper Drake Callender who made himself the hero, producing the only save of the shootout from Nick Hagglund before Benjamin Cremaschi fired home the winning kick.

“We’ve been able to overcome many matches, more as a result of the team’s character than its play, and obviously for having the best player in the world with us, and we each take turns to get behind him,” said Miami head coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino.

Miami can look forward to another final on September 27, against the Houston Dynamo, who beat Real Salt Lake 3-1 in the other semifinal.

Meanwhile, a shell-shocked Cincinnati, which had looked set to reach its first final, becomes the latest victim of an extraordinary Miami run since Messi landed in South Florida.

Messi had scored 10 goals in eight games to lead Miami to the Leagues Cup trophy. It was another No. 10 from Argentina, though, who struck the first blow at TQL Stadium on Wednesday.

Luciano Acosta, who sits second on MLS‘ scoring charts, made Cincinnati the first opponent to score the opening goal against a Messi-led Miami team after poking the ball in off the post in the 18th minute.

Cincinnati doubled its advantage eight minutes into the second half. U.S. international striker Brandon Vázquez produced the kind of pinpoint, emphatic finish Messi would have been proud of to put the finishing touch on a sweeping breakaway.

At that point, there looked no way back for the visitors against a Cincinnati team with the best record in MLS this season.

The seven games in a month that led Miami to an unexpected trophy had also taken their toll on the roster, leading Martino to make four changes to his starting lineup, along with a formation switch, as it looked to reach another final.

“I think we were lacking sharpness to navigate that first half,” Martino said. “We were a step off. I saw a team with one gear less than our rival. The good thing about all of this is that we didn’t drop our shoulders, we pressed on.”

Miami struggled for much of the contest and managed just one shot on target — set up by Messi — in the first 65 minutes. A triple substitution by Martino sparked some life into his team, but it was Messi again who provided the crucial contributions.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was held scoreless for the first time in a Miami jersey, but this time it was his assists that did the damage.

First, he delivered a perfect free kick that Campana headed home to bring the score back to 2-1 and give Miami hope in the 68th minute.

But as the clock ticked past 90 minutes, it looked like Messi was about to taste his first defeat as a Miami player. Instead, the World Cup winner had other ideas, supplying another wondrous left-footed cross that Campana stooped to head into the net in the seventh of eight added minutes.

“He’s a leader on the pitch and with the group he’s shown it for a long time, not only here with Miami but also with Argentina,” Martino said.

“Luckily, players get behind his leadership and enthusiasm in his response for every moment, no matter the circumstances, and today he showed it more as a conductor than a finisher, and you saw that with the pass late in the match but he makes difficult plays look easy.”

The tide had turned, and Martinez’s early goal in extra time looked to have delivered the final blow to Cincinnati. A passionate home crowd that had delighted in booing Messi’s every touch were given hope when Cincinnati leveled the game once more. But Miami would not be denied.

Messi will now grace the final of a competition first contested in 1914 and that stands as the oldest active sports tournament in the United States and one of the oldest annual soccer competitions in the world.

Before that, though, Miami will have to confront its pre-Messi reality when it resumes MLS regular-season play with the worst record in the league and an uphill task to make the playoffs. Miami will visit the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, when Messi is likely to make his MLS debut.

Lionel Messi to Serve as Captain for Inter Miami CF’s Leagues Cup Match Against Atlanta United FC

Lionel Messi is reporting for captain duty… 

The 36-year-old Argentine soccer star will wear the captain’s armband and could potentially start in Tuesday’s home Leagues Cup group match against Atlanta United FCInter Miami CF head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino said Monday.

Lionel Messi“Yes, he was our captain last game as well,” Martino said when asked at Monday’s news conference if Messi would lead the squad against the coach’s former team.

“It is very likely that both Messi and Busi [Sergio Busquets] will play longer, even from the beginning. Everything will depend on how they feel. It’s just their second game.”

The former Barcelona teammates made their debuts in Friday’s 2-1 opening group stage win over Cruz Azul, going nearly 40 minutes each in a game Messi punctuated by scoring one of his trademark free kicks at the end to claim all three points.

When asked if he was shocked or surprised at the way Friday night’s game ended, Martino said: “It is something habitual from him [greatness], and because it is habitual, we try to normalize things that are not common.”

Thanks to that storybook victory, just gaining a point against Atlanta on Tuesday will secure a spot in the Leagues Cup round of 32, while a win would mean Miami would most likely host the winner of the South 2 group featuring Orlando City SCCharlotte FC and Santos Laguna.

DeAndre Yedlin was the previous captain after replacing Gregore, who got injured in mid-March.

However, before Martino can look ahead to a potential knockout game with Inter Miami, he has the task of facing the club he built from an expansion team to MLS Cup champions in just two years before departing to coach the Mexico men’s national team.

“Atlanta is a place that is very important in my heart and a place I enjoyed,” Martino said. “Not just the club, but the two years in the city. It is a game that has a special factor.”

Miami striker Josef Martínez was a key contributor in Atlanta’s 2018 title run, and will be facing his former team for a second time if he gets onto the field Tuesday.

The 30-year-old Venezuelan scored both goals in Miami’s 2-1 win back in early May, and Martino thinks he might see something more special from him soon.

“In these last two weeks, I have found the Josef of Atlanta,” he said of his target man, who scored 111 times in 158 appearances for their former club. It’s clear that Martino has also found — in just a few training sessions and one match — what the arrival of Messi can bring to his struggling squad, not just with his actual play on the ball.

“What was seen of Messi in the game trying to order his teammates, is what he has been doing in the training sessions,” Martino said. “He helps and talks about football with his teammates.”

Speaking of teammates, another of Messi’s former Barcelona buddies, 34-year-old left back Jordi Alba, could feature in Tuesday’s game in some capacity after arriving in town only last week.

And the rumors about veteran Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez continued to fly Sunday when Inter Miami announced it had traded $150,000 in allocation money to San Jose in return for an international roster spot.

But with the hefty buyout current club Grêmio has in Suárez’s contract and the fact that time is running out before the transfer window closes in just over a week on August 2, it seems that spot will instead likely to go to 20-year-old Argentine attacking midfielder Facundo Farias, with whom the team reportedly has a verbal agreement in place.

“What we are doing is we are working on the definitive decisions about the roster,” Martino said when asked about Sunday’s move. “Between this transfer window and December-January, we have to put together a definitive team and will be managing all the variables with our directors.”

Lionel Messi Scores Game-Winning Goal in Inter Miami Debut

Lionel Messi has kicked off his Major League Soccer career with a banger…

The 36-year-old Argentine professional footballer, a World Cup champion and seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, came off the bench to score one of his trademark free kicks in second-half stoppage time as Inter Miami defeated Cruz Azul 2-1 in a Leagues Cup opener for both teams.

Lionel MessiIt was 9:26 p.m. ET when Messi stopped warming up in front of the packed south stands at DRV PNK Stadium, grabbed his pink jersey and jogged to the halfway line before replacing 18-year-old midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi, himself of Argentine descent, in the 54th minute.

Up until that point, fans had only seen Messi on the bench, as the Miami substitutes strangely did their pregame and first-half warm-ups out of sight, presumably back by the locker room.

Messi’s first historic touch came with 55:30 on the clock, but it was his touch past the 90-minute mark that was the only one that mattered.

When the visitors committed a foul 25 yards out with five seconds left in the two minutes extra, everyone knew what could potentially happen next.

And it did.

Messi curled the resulting free kick into the top corner with his legendary left foot, sending the sellout crowd of around 21,000 into a frenzy.

“It was a very good game for us. We were looking for a match like this one and to give a win to these fans,” Messi told Apple TV.

“I want to thanks all these people. They are making me feel very welcomed here so I’m very happy to give this victory back to them.”

For Miami, which has the worst record in MLS, the goal was the perfect start to the team’s new era.

“I knew it was the last chance,” Messi added of his free kick. “I just tried like I always do and fortunately the goalkeeper couldn’t get the ball.

“It is important for this team to get wins because we are not in a good position in the league. I know this is another tournament but it will help our morale.”

Even before the goal, every touch from Messi was met with intense anticipation, and when he turned on a dime in the 67th minute, leaving Cruz Azul defenders in the dust, the roar from the crowd would have drowned out any small jet departing from the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport next door.

Of course, the doubters will point out that Messi showed little interest in tracking back during the game and that Cruz Azul scored their tying goal through Mexico International Uriel Antuna when Messi was on the pitch, but none of that mattered.

“It’s such a moment for this country,” Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham said. “It’s such a moment for the league. And it’s a very proud moment for us.”

For those who suggested he was coming to South Beach for an end-of-career vacation, Messi provided an ideal response.

“We should be surprised by what Messi did because it is a constant achievement,” said Gerardo “Tata” Martino, Miami’s head coach and Messi’s former one at both Barcelona and Argentina.

“For him [to sign with Miami] is a life and family choice, but he said he came to play and win and he showed that from his first game.”

Lionel Messi On Track to Make Inter Miami Debut This Weekend Following First Training Session

Lionel Messi is still on track to make his Inter Miami debut this weekend. 

The 36-year-old Argentine professional footballer remains on track for his MLS debut after coming through his first official training session with the MLS club on Tuesday.

 

Miami has long targeted Friday’s Leagues Cup opener against Mexican side Cruz Azul for the Argentine superstar to make his first appearance following his blockbuster move to South Florida. 

It has been a whirlwind few days for Messi, with his signing on a 2 1/2 year contract that’ll pay him between $50 million and $60 million a year being confirmed Saturday before being unveiled in front of a sell-out crowd at Miami’s DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale the following day.

After Messi trained alongside former Barcelona teammate and fellow new signing Sergio Busquets, Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham confirmed that he expects the World Cup winner to play some part in Friday’s game.

“We don’t know if Leo will start the game or whether he’ll come on, because I think at the end of the day, he needs to be ready,” Beckham told ESPN. “We need to protect him and make sure that he’s ready because he’s had a vacation.

“He’s now been in Miami for a week and he’s been training really hard and he looks great. So I think Leo and [head coach] Tata [Martino] will decide when he plays and when he comes on on Friday, but the atmosphere here will be incredible, and hopefully we get a win.”

On Tuesday, a helicopter hovered overhead, drones buzzed around the field and about 200 media members lined up toward the back of the complex to get a look at Messi. He, like Busquets, went through a welcome tunnel as part of the first practice, which meant jogging past teammates as they lined up and clapped.

“It’s like Michael Jordan going to play, you know, overseas,” Miami’s United States international defender DeAndre Yedlin said. “You know it’s like I said, it’s not something that I would have thought would have happened in my time playing. But I’m so glad that it did.”

More international stars could soon be joining Messi, with Inter Miami’s managing owner Jorge Mas saying Tuesday that former Spain left-back Jordi Aba was set to sign later in the day, while also confirming an interest in another of Messi’s former Barcelona teammates, striker Luis Suárez.

For now, though, Mas, who also expects Busquets to make his debut Friday, said he was looking forward to a momentous occasion for a team struggling at the bottom of MLSEastern Conference after 11 games without a win.

“Friday’s match against Cruz Azul will be a very important for us because we expect to have Lionel and Busi [Busquets] debuts,” he told ESPN. “We are looking to improve our level and aiming for better results. But we also need Lionel and Tata to feel good and help them to get acclimated to the city and club.

“I personally like that Messi’s first game is going to be against a team from Liga MX for a global audience, and I hope Mexico and the United States can enjoy and celebrate this historic occasion.”

Some tickets for the game are going for as little as $275 or so on the secondary market; some of the very best seats are exceeding $19,000. Prices have been fluctuating quite a bit and likely will continue doing so until game time.

Perhaps the most emotional member of the crowd will be Beckham himself, 16 years on from making his own historic move from Real Madrid to the LA Galaxy.

“I might actually cry when I see him walk onto the pitch,” Beckham told ABC‘s Good Morning America.

“I’ve realized as I get older I get more emotional. I look at my kids I get emotional, I talk to my kids and my wife I get emotional. So I think the moment i see Leo step out onto the pitch in front of our fans, in front of this nation … I don’t know, I’ll be emotional for sure.”

Jordi Alba In Talks to Join Former Teammates Lionel Messi & Sergio Busquets at Inter Miami CF

Jordi Alba may be reuniting with Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets soon…

The 34-year-old Spanish professional footballer is thisclose to joining his former Barcelona teammates at Inter Miami CF, the MLS club’s co-owner Jorge Mas has revealed..

Jordi AlbaMeanwhile, the club is trying to reach a deal with a fourth former Barca teammate, Grêmio striker Luis Suárez, as he and the Brazilian side haggle over an exit fee.

“We’re going to sign Alba today,” Mas told reporters after Inter Miami’s training session in Ft. Lauderdale. “I know that [manager] Tata [Martino] is counting on him for the second half of the Cup.”

Earlier, sources told ESPN that the left-back was in the final stages of talks with the club.

Alba announced that he would be leaving Barcelona — with a year left on his contract — on May 24 after 11 seasons with the LaLiga giants.

The defender subsequently attracted interest from teams in Europe and Saudi Arabia but was persuaded by Inter Miami’s offer.

Alba was a priority for Miami, sources said, but negotiations had taken longer than expected because of problems fitting him within MLS’ strict salary restrictions.

A potential move by Suárez is also complicated by the league’s roster restrictions.

Following the signings of Messi and Busquets, Miami already had its full quota of three designated players, alongside forward Leonardo Campana.

It’s possible Alba, Suárez or Campana could be registered using targeted allocation money (TAM), but even then Miami is limited.

Mas’ comments suggest the club believes those issues have been resolved and Alba will be able to join Messi and Busquets in MLS.

For the 2023 season, the MLS salary budget is $5,210,000 per team, which excludes DPs and allocation money. Teams have $2,720,000 in TAM available in 2023 — essentially supplementing the salary cap.

But as part of the sanctions levied against Inter Miami for past violations, the club has had $2,271,250 deducted from its allocation allotment spread across the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Meanwhile, Suárez, 36, is willing to return a total of $10 million of his earnings to walk away from Brazil, but sources said Grêmio also want guarantees that the Uruguayan player will not play at any other club in 2023.

Suárez is keen to join his former Camp Nou teammates Messi and Busquets despite saying in June that it would be “impossible.”

On Tuesday, Mas also said: “I don’t know how Luis Suárez can leave Grêmio. But if he does, we are free to talk to Luis and bring him to Inter Miami. That possibility would be there.”

“I consider him a star player, with an incredible career. And we all know he has a personal relationship with Lionel [Messi], Busi [Busquets] and Jordi [Alba]. We are all in and we will welcome any player with the kind of career that Luis has but we have to know more about his future before doing any move,” Mas added in an interview with ESPN.

Suárez, who has a contract with Grêmio through 2024 and has scored 13 goals in 30 games for the club, has repeatedly complained of pain in his right knee.

Sources said the impasse is over Suárez’s fitness regarding the knee pain he has had since May. Grêmio manager Renato Gaúcho and club officials are aware of the knee issues, but sources told ESPN that Suárez has said that if he is released from the club and recovers before the end of the year, he should have the right to return to play with his new team.

Three Grêmio club doctors have examined Suárez’s knee, and sources said Suárez has been obliged to play through the pain until the club can find a substitute for the striker.

Sources said Suárez feels as though his knee cannot handle the sheer number of matches required by the Brazil league and does not want to let the fans down. Suárez has said he would prefer to play in a league with an easier calendar, such as MLS, according to sources.

Suárez signed with the Porto Alegre-based club on a free transfer with a two-year deal in 2022 after leaving his boyhood club Nacional in Uruguay. In three months with Nacional, he scored eight goals in 16 games and won the Uruguayan championship.

Previously, the 35-year-old enjoyed success in Europe with Ajax AmsterdamLiverpool, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. He won five LaLiga titles in seven years in Spain.

Inter Miami hasn’t won an MLS match in more than two months. It has gone 0-8-3 in regular-season play since beating New England on May 13.

Inter Miami Completes Signing of Sergio Busquets 

It’s official… Sergio Busquets will be playing Major League Soccer.

Inter Miami has completed the signing of the 35-year-old Spanish professional footballer and former Barcelona midfielder on a deal until 2025, the MLS side has revealed.

Sergio BusquetsThe 2010 World Cup winner will join the squad in the coming days and will occupy a designated player slot, the club added.

“I am excited to welcome Sergio Busquets to Inter Miami,” said managing owner Jorge Mas. “Since day one we have set out to bring the world’s best players. Sergio’s repertoire speaks for itself.”

The former Barcelona captain, who retired from international duty last year, played more than 700 games for the Spanish champions, winning nine LaLiga crowns, seven Copa del Rey titles, three Champions League trophies and three Club World Cups.

Busquets was also linked with a move to Saudi Arabia as Al Hilal and Al Nassr made bids for his services, according to media reports.

 

Miami expect Busquets to be available to play next Saturday when they host Mexican side Cruz Azul for their Leagues Cup opener, when Messi is set to make his debut.

 

The MLS designated player rule allows clubs to acquire up to three players whose total compensation and acquisition costs exceed the salary cap.

Transfer Talks Progressing Between Barcelona & Athletico Paranaense for Vitor Roque

Vitor Roque may be headed to Europe soon…

Talks between Barcelona and Brazil’s Athletico Paranaense over the transfer of the 18-year-old Brazilian forward are progressing well, according to ESPN.

Vitor Roque,Barca are in the market for a backup striker to Robert Lewandowski and have turned their attention to Roque, with new sporting director Deco leading the negotiations.

Roque is the club’s first option because as well as helping take some of the load off Lewandowski this season, he is also viewed as a player who could one day replace the Poland international, who will turn 35 years old in August.

Reports in Spain suggested over the weekend that Barca have reached an agreement with Athletico Paranaense worth a potential €45 million including add-ons.

Sources close negotiations did not to confirm an agreement to ESPN but did say that talks are advancing and there is optimism a deal will be concluded this summer.

However, agreeing a fee with Athletico Paranaense is only part of the puzzle, sources added, with Barca also needing to free up salary space and room in their squad before committing to signings.

Due to LaLiga‘s financial restrictions, the Catalan club can only spend 40% of anything they save or generate on bringing in new players.

Therefore, they are not in a position to register new signings until they free up some salary space or bring in transfer fees for any outgoing squad members.

It’s for that reason Lionel Messi, who coach Xavi Hernandez had repeatedly stated a desire to sign, confirmed his intention to join Inter Miami, saying he could not wait for Barca to sort their financial issues.

Sources say Barca would also like to lighten the load in attack before signing another forward, with Lewandowski, Ousmane DembeleRaphinhaAnsu Fati and Ferran Torres competing for two positions since Xavi‘s switch to a midfield four.

Roque, who has already been capped by the Brazil senior side, is one of the highest-rated youngsters coming through in the South American country.

After starting his career in America Mineiro‘s youth setup, Roque joined Cruzeiro in 2021, making the move to Athletico Paranaense the following year in a transfer worth around €4.5m.

He has already made over 50 appearances for the Brazilian Serie A side, scoring 16 goals and helping them reach the Copa Libertadores final last year and win the Campeonato Paranaense this year.

Inter Miami Expresses Interest in Jordi Alba

Jordi Alba‘s dance card is filling up…

Inter Miami have sounded out the 34-year-old Spanish professional footballer’s interest in joining the club but face competition to sign the Barcelona defender from Atletico MadridInter Milan and clubs in Saudi Arabia, sources have told ESPN.

Jordi Alba, BarcelonaAlba has reached an agreement to end his contract with Barca, which was due to expire in 2024, one year early and is looking for a new club this summer. 

Sources say Alba has not closed the door on any of the options and will make a decision after this week’s UEFA Nations League finals in the Netherlands, where he is part of the Spain squad that will meet Italy in the semifinal on Thursday.

After Lionel Messi announced he would join Inter Miami last week, and with sources confirming Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets has also held talks with the MLS side, Alba is the latest Europe-based player to be approached by the South Florida team.

Sources say there have not yet been any formal negotiations and there is no offer on the table, while Miami also has to consider how to manage its three designated player spots, but Alba would be willing to listen to the team’s proposal.

However, the left-back may prefer to stay in Europe with the European Championships coming up in Germany next summer and with his wife due to give birth to their third child next month.

LaLiga side Atletico and Serie A team Inter are among several interested European clubs, sources confirmed, while there are also offers on the table from Saudi Arabia.

Alba will evaluate his options with his family after the Nations League, with a decision expected to be made in the coming weeks.

Lionel Messi Reportedly Leaving Paris Saint-Germain at End of Current Season

Lionel Messi is looking to switch sides

The 35-year-old Argentine soccer star will reportedly leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season when his contract expires, according to ESPN.

Lionel MessiLast month, ESPN reported that Messi was unlikely to sign a new contract with PSG, and sources have now said that both parties have agreed not to extend his stay with the French champions.

The Argentina international has been suspended by PSG for two weeks for missing training on Monday to travel to Saudi Arabia, per ESPN sources.

After PSG’s 3-1 defeat to Lorient — their third loss in their past four league games — Messi flew to Saudi Arabia without asking again for permission, sources told ESPN, meaning he couldn’t attend training Monday.

The incident further complicated the relationship between the player and the club. Sources told ESPN the situation created tension within the dressing room, with some players unhappy about the incident.

Sources said that an agreement in principle was found between PSG and Messi before the World Cup for him to sign a new deal in Paris, but the situation has since changed.

On Wednesday, several hundred PSG supporters gathered outside the club’s Paris headquarters to express their anger at Messi, as well as teammate Neymar and president Nasser al-Khelaifi. A small group of supporters later protested outside Neymar’s home, calling on him to leave the club.

“Paris Saint-Germain most strongly condemns the intolerable and insulting actions of a small group of individuals that took place on Wednesday”, the Ligue 1 club said in a statement.

“Whatever the differences of opinion, nothing justifies such actions. The Club gives its full support to its players, its staff and all those targetted by such shameful behaviour.”

Messi has failed to replicate his excellent World Cup form with PSG and the club doubt whether Messi can still deliver in big Champions League matches.

Sources told ESPN that there is an offer from Saudi Arabia for Messi and he is aware of interest from former club Barcelona and Major League Soccer club Inter Miami.

Barcelona are looking into the possibility of re-signing Messi, although LaLiga president Javier Tebas warned that the league won’t change its financial fair play rules to allow him to return.

Lionel Messi Reportedly In Talks to Join MLS’ Inter Miami

Lionel Messi may be playing Major League Soccer next season…

The 35-year-old Argentine professional footballer is reportedly close to an agreement with Inter Miami to join the team after the conclusion of the 2022-23 European season, according to the Sunday Times.

Lionel Messi Messi would be the highest-paid player in MLS history and also the highest-profile player to ever play in MLS.

Inter Miami is co-owned by David Beckham, the man who made waves in the 2000s when he came to MLS to play for LA Galaxy.

The Sunday Times also reports that Inter Miami is looking to recruit players who have played with Messi previously in Europe to join him in the United States.

Messi currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in France’s Ligue 1 after playing most of his career at Barcelona. Messi established himself as one of the best players ever at Barcelona and has won a record seven Ballon d’Or awards given to the best player in soccer.

Messi joined PSG ahead of the 2021-22 season after he couldn’t come to a contract agreement with Barcelona amidst the club’s financial issues. Messi scored 474 goals in 520 LaLiga appearances for Barcelona and tallied a staggering 96 goals over 69 appearances over the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons as Barcelona was one of the best squads modern soccer history.

Messi’s contract with PSG is up at the end of the season and a possible move to MLS has long been rumored. It’s unclear how much he’d actually play for Inter Miami after he would join the team in 2023. Major League Soccer’s schedule doesn’t match up with the schedule for major European club soccer. Combine the overlapping schedules with the 2022 World Cup and Messi would be facing over 14 straight months of soccer without a break if he joined Inter Miami as soon as PSG’s season was over and immediately featured in the squad.