Lionel Messi’s Debut for Inter Miami: Here’s When It Could Happen

Lionel Messi’s Debut for Inter Miami: Here’s When It Could Happen

Ero Samson
June 9, 2023 at 8:41 AM
  • Lionel Messi brought to a close his two-year stint at PSG
  • The World Cup winner announced that he will be signing for MLS side Inter Miami
  • Apple and Adidas aided the signing of the Argentine by the MLS club

There are very few names in football that can steal the limelight entirely just a few days before the Champions League final. One of those names is Lionel Messi.

On Wednesday evening, he announced that he will be signing for Inter Miami in the MLS following his departure from Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi, Argentina, football
Apple and Adidas aided the signing of Lionel Messi by Inter Miami. Image: Lauren Sopourn.
Source: Getty Images

The news cannot quite be described as a surprise, given that Inter Miami have been rumoured to be Messi's possible destination for quite some time.

The surprising element is the fact that Barcelona lost out. As reported by Mundo Deportivo, they appeared to be making some progress towards bringing their Messiah back to the club for a second spell after the first ended in such poor circumstances.

That did not prove to be the case, and the Argentine will be playing football next season in the third different domestic league of his career. What many people want to know, though, is when they can expect to see him playing for the side.

Messi’s Inter Miami debut

The MLS operates on a different calendar to European football, which means that while Lionel Messi is leaving PSG at the end of the season, he is joining Inter Miami halfway through another one.

He is going to be entering into a situation that he is really not used to.

Inter Miami are sitting at the very bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference after 16 matches, and that is why David Beckham decided to sack Phil Neville.

Messi is not just turning up in America to increase wider interest in the MLS. He has got a serious job to do for a club that wants to be competing for titles.

As for when he can start helping the team, according to ESPN, he will be able to officially register as a player for Inter Miami on July 5, as that is when the next transfer window officially opens in the MLS.

After that date, Inter Miami's first game is against Wayne Rooney's D.C. United on July 9. Rooney will be keen to beat the man who helped Barcelona win two Champions League finals at Manchester United's expense.

That means Messi has almost a month to get his affairs in order and maintain his fitness so he can hit the ground running in America.

There is little reason to suggest that he won't be able to feature in that game, unless a fitness or citizenship issue were to crop up.

How Apple, Adidas lured Messi

Earlier, Sports Brief reported how Inter Miami pulled some strings to bring one of the greatest footballers of the modern era to the United States. They could not do it by themselves, so they sought the help of the world’s biggest brands.

According to reports, tech giant Apple were involved in several high-level meetings with the MLS last week to discuss the possibility of offering Messi a share of the income generated by new subscribers to Season Pass, the American top flight's streaming package on Apple TV+.

Meanwhile, Adidas, one of the largest corporate sponsors of the MLS, also reportedly planned its own arrangement to lure Messi to the United States.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is an experienced sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry
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