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Will Lionel Messi feature against Newell's Old Boys?

Published at :February 15, 2024 at 8:30 PM
Modified at :February 15, 2024 at 8:30 PM
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(Courtesy : Inter Miami)

Rajarshi Shukla

Messi will face his childhood club during Inter Miami’s final pre-season game

Lionel Messi will play against his boyhood team, Newell’s Old Boys, during Inter Miami CF’s final match of the pre-season before the start of MLS 2024.

On Thursday, Feb. 15, La Lepra will make their DRV PNK Stadium debut in preparation for Miami’s first full season with Messi, the eight-time Ballon d’Or recipient and 2022 FIFA World Cup champion who participated in Newell’s youth system at the age of six before attending FC Barcelona’s renowned La Masia academy in 2001.

This is Miami’s sixth verified winter rival. In addition to being the club’s all-time appearance leader and having had a successful tenure as manager from 2012 to 2013, Miami coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino has a unique bond with Newell. Lionel Messi is likely to feature against Newell’s Old Boys.

Following his July transfer to Inter Miami, Messi dominated the North American soccer scene and elevated Major League Soccer to a global prominence. Alongside fellow Barcelona alumni Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, he contributed to Inter Miami’s first-ever Leagues Cup victory in 2023.

A ceremonial friendly called Noche d’Or honoured Messi for his world record seventh Ballon d’Or victory, capping his debut season in Major League Soccer. The World Cup winner said at the time, “Next year will be much better.” We intend to continue enjoying ourselves and winning championships.

All of this builds anticipation and enthusiasm for 2024, when the greatest player of all time and his colleagues hope to contend for numerous championships, including the Concacaf Champions Cup. The No. 10 also has goals for the international stage, as he aims to assist Argentina in defending their Copa América championship.

Messi has previously expressed his desire to finish his career at Newell’s, but he is currently 36 years old and has a contract with Inter Miami that runs until 2025, with the potential for a 12-month increase after that.

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