Lionel Messi joins Inter Miami CF, set to debut in Leagues Cup

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The wait is over! Inter Miami CF have announced this Saturday the signing of Lionel Messi. The Argentine star signed a contract until 2025 and will make his debut in Leagues Cup 2023, when Inter Miami, owned by David Beckham will face off against Cruz Azul of LIGA MX on July 21.

“I’m very excited to start this next step in my career with Inter Miami and in the United States,” said Messi. “This is a fantastic opportunity and together we will continue to build this beautiful project. The idea is to work together to achieve the objectives we set, and I’m very eager to start helping here in my new home.”

After winning titles in Spain and France, including the UEFA Champions League with FC Barcelona, Messi will play for the first time in an official club competition in North America.

“I made the decision to go to Miami”, the ex-Barcelona player had said on June 4. It was a piece of news that shook the world, as the whole planet had expected him to re-sign for his first club, and one which saw MLS become the focus of plenty of attention across the world of soccer.

The 14th World Champion to play in MLS

Lionel Messi scores again as Inter Miami beats Charlotte to reach Leagues  Cup semifinals - Yahoo Sports

Recently crowned World Champion in Qatar 2022 with Argentina, Messi will be the 14th World Cup winner to play in MLS since Brazilian defender Branco joined the NY/NJ MetroStars in 1997. Since then, figures like Thierry Henry, Lothar Matthaus, Andrea Pirlo and Kaka, among others, have plied their trade in Major League Soccer.

A record breaking machine

Messi’s career totals are simply astronomical. Since he made his debut for Barcelona on November 16, 2003, the Argentine star has scored 807 goals in 1028 games. This gives him an average of 0.79 goals per game, a figure that he will surely seek to improve during his time at Inter Miami.

Since he won the first of his four Champions League titles in 2006, the Argentine star has won a total of 42 titles with Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and the Argentina National Team, with the 2022 World Cup being the last major title that he lacked in his career. .

Lionel Messi news: Lionel Messi inspires Inter Miami's 4-0 win over  Charlotte FC, advances to semis - The Economic Times

Ready to debut at Leagues Cup 

Messi will play his first official match as an Inter Miami CF player at Leagues Cup 2023, as the team led by Gerardo Martino will face Cruz Azul on July 21 at DRV PNK Stadium.

Inter are part of South 3, where in addition to the Mexican side they will also take on Atlanta United. If he plays in that second match, Messi could cross paths with another world champion: Thiago Almada, who was also part of the Argentina squad that won the World Cup last December 18 against France.

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