Coach Gerardo Martino of Inter Miami sent a message to fans regarding Lionel Messi before the 2024 MLS season.Speaking to the Miami Herald, Martino said: “We have a responsibility to make sure the fans feel like they are watching the best players when our big stars are not on the field. When players like Messi, Busquets or Alba is not playing for many different reasons, Inter Miami will still have the most competitive squad. This is an important message.
The best players are always on the field, but we also have to make sure our team is healthy and can fight all season. Last season the team encountered many difficulties. It may also be related to ticket sales, because fans want to know who will play. I want the stars to play every match, but we’re not just interested in selling tickets. If they are healthy, they will play most of the matches.”
In Inter Miami’s debut season, Messi had to work hard in the early stages, carrying the club to the CONCACAF Leagues Cup championship. After that, the Argentine superstar got injured and had to play at the end of the season. In total, Messi has 14 appearances for Inter Miami in all competitions in the 2023 season, scoring 11 goals and 5 assists.Currently, Messi is training with Inter Miami in the 2024 pre-season. He and his teammates are preparing to participate in 7 pre-season friendly matches, with 6 of which will take place away from home.
First, Inter Miami will face El Salvador on January 20 before meeting Dallas at the Cotton Bowl 3 days later. Next, representatives of the American Professional League (MLS) will begin a major tour to the Middle East and Asia, including two matches in Saudi Arabia against Al Hilal on January 30 and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr on January 30. February 2.
Next, Inter Miami will meet Hong Kong stars on February 4, before going to Japan for a friendly match with Vissel Kobe Club. Finally, the club will return to Miami to face Newell’s Old Boys – Messi’s childhood team on February 15.
On February 22, Inter Miami will play their first match in MLS 2024 against Real Salt Lake.