Lionel Messi has reportedly decided to join Inter Miami.
The 35 year old has not released a statement just yet in regards to his future but as we reported, Apple and Adidas are reportedly also involved in trying to get Messi to MLS.
The focus will now shift to when he takes the field for an MLS club. The 2023 MLS season, which runs from February to October, is currently underway. As of June 7, Inter Miami is last in the Eastern Conference standings, six points out of the final playoff spot.
When will Lionel Messi debut for Inter Miami?
One day prior to Guillem Balague’s report, The Athletic published a report on his decision, and stated that Inter Miami boasted “growing hope” that a deal could be close, simultaneously warning that “confidence in a deal has fluctuated week to week and even day to day.”
The report by The Athletic included a note that should he join Inter Miami, he could potentially debut in the new Leagues Cup competition between Liga MX and MLS. Inter Miami are slated to play Mexico’s Cruz Azul at home on Friday, July 21 to begin group stage play.
This would give Messi a month-long break following Argentina’s two summer friendlies against Australia and Indonesia on June 15 and June 19, respectively.
However, the wait could be slightly longer. According to Jonathan Tannenwald of the Philadelphia Inquirer, MLS sources told him that August could be a more likely debut date.
MLS is taking a month-long break from mid-July to mid-August for the playing of the Leagues Cup tournament, and if he waits until August, a home debut on Sunday, August 20 at against Charlotte FC could make the most sense.
Inter Miami schedule for 2023 season
|Wed, Jun. 7||8 p.m.||@ Birmingham Legion||U.S. Open Cup|
|Sat, Jun. 10||7:30 p.m.||@ New England||MLS regular season|
|Sat, Jun. 24||7:30 p.m.||@ Philadelphia||MLS regular season|
|Sat, Jul. 1||7:30 p.m.||vs. Austin FC||MLS regular season|
|Wed, Jul. 4||7:30 p.m.||vs. Columbus Crew||MLS regular season|
|Sat, Jul. 8||7:30 p.m.||@ D.C. United||MLS regular season|
|Sat, Jul. 15||8:30 p.m.||@ St. Louis City SC||MLS regular season|
|Fri, Jul. 21||8 p.m.||vs. Cruz Azul||Leagues Cup|
|Tue, Jul. 25||7:30 p.m.||vs. Atlanta United||Leagues Cup|
|Sun, Aug. 20||7:30 p.m.||vs. Charlotte FC||MLS regular season|
|Sat, Aug. 26||7:30 p.m.||@ NY Red Bulls||MLS regular season|
|Wed, Aug. 30||7:30 p.m.||vs. Nashville SC||MLS regular season|
|Sat, Sep. 3||10:30 p.m.||@ LAFC||MLS regular season|
|Sat, Sep. 9||7:30 p.m.||vs. Sporting KC||MLS regular season|
|Sat, Sep. 16||7:30 p.m.||@ Atlanta United||MLS regular season|
|Wed, Sep. 20||7:30 p.m.||vs. Toronto FC||MLS regular season|
|Sun, Sep. 24||7:30 p.m.||@ Orlando City SC||MLS regular season|
|Sat, Sep. 30||7:30 p.m.||vs. NYCFC||MLS regular season|
|Wed, Oct. 4||8:30 p.m.||@ Chicago Fire||MLS regular season|
|Sat, Oct. 7||7:30 p.m.||vs. FC Cincinnati||MLS regular season|
|Sat, Oct. 21||6:00 p.m.||@ Charlotte FC||MLS regular season|
Source: The Sporting News