MLS 2024: Will Lionel Messi Play Against Real Salt Lake In Inter Miami’s Opening Match Of The Season?

After a disappointing last season, Inter Miami looks to play their first match of the season against Real Salt Lake. Let’s see whether Lionel Messi plays the opening game or not.

Published on Feb 20, 2024  |  09:59 PM IST |  420.1K
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Lionel Messi with Esteban Fernández and Franco Diaz of MLS team, Newell's Old Boys. ( credit-Getty Images )

The new MLS season will begin with Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami taking on Real Salt Lake. The match is scheduled to take place on February 21 at DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US. However, the big question is, will Lionel Messi be playing the game? With Messi’s entry into MLS, the league has bloomed and many fans have started watching the MLS. 

Lionel Messi is going to play his first full season with the MLS team Inter Miami. So, it is confirmed that Lionel Messi will be part of the game going to be played against Real Salt Lake. Real Salt Lake could not have asked for a more high-profile season opening as they get to play against Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami.

Inter Miami signed Luis Suarez over the offseason, reuniting the two longtime friends. The duo, along with former Barcelona teammates Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets, have made Miami the club to watch as Major League Soccer enters its 29th season.

Messi will have an entire season to perform his magic. The eight-time Ballon d'Or winner debuted in Miami midway through the season, increasing ticket sales, jersey sales, and Apple TV (the league's media partner) subscriptions. He helped Miami win the Liga MX Leagues Cup in his debut season. However, he was unable to make a significant enough difference to propel Miami into the playoffs following a poor start. Miami ended 9-18-7 last season, ranked 14th in the Eastern Conference.


Why did Lionel Messi skip his Inter Miami Hong Kong friendly?

MLS season is days away but Messi not playing in a friendly match at Hong Kong was not taken lightly by the Chinese government. The Argentine has now given a statement explaining the reason why he couldn’t play on the match day. In a video via Weibo, a Chinese social media website, Messi tried to explain he wanted to play but the circumstances didn’t let him. 

He said, “As everyone knows, I always want to play. I want to play in every match. I heard that I didn’t want to play because of politics and many other things that have nothing to do with this. If that were the case I wouldn’t have traveled to Japan or to China like I have so many times in my career.”

Lionel Messi continued by explaining that he had a medical problem due to which he couldn’t play the match. He shared, “I had inflammation in my adductor and I couldn’t play. I felt it in the first game that I played in Saudi Arabia and I tried to play in the second game (in Saudi) but it felt worse.” Messi confirmed that it was because of the “discomfort” in his adductor that he couldn’t play the friendly match. 

For the unversed, after Messi skipped the friendly against the Hong Kong squad, which the Herons won 4-0, mayhem ensued. The Chinese government canceled Argentina's friendlies against Nigeria and the Ivory Coast in March, citing dissatisfaction with the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner's choice.


ALSO READ: Such a Disgusting Guy’: Inter Miami Fans Want Lionel Messi Terminated After THIS Reaction During 4–3 Loss to Vissel Kobe

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