Inter Miami, a Major League Soccer (MLS) club strengthened by Lionel Messi, is preparing for the 2024 season. After failing to qualify for the MLS 2023 playoffs, Inter Miami plans to hold several friendly matches both within and outside the United States.
One of the friendly matches that will be held by Inter Miami is against New York City FC on Friday, November 10, 2023. This match is a celebration of Messi’s success in winning the 2023 Ballon d’Or, the world’s best player award for the eighth time.
However, Messi is likely not to play fully in the match, as he has to join the Argentina national team to face two World Cup 2026 qualifying matches against Uruguay and Brazil. This was confirmed by Inter Miami manager, Gerardo Martino, who said:
“Leo Messi is in good physical condition and of course he will play on Friday against New York City FC, but there is a possibility he will not play throughout the match.”
In addition, Inter Miami also plans to hold a tour to Asia during November 2023. The club owned by David Beckham will face two clubs from China, Qingdao Hainiu and PSG. This tour aims to increase the popularity of Inter Miami on the Asian continent, especially after Messi’s arrival.
“We are analyzing being here in Florida and we are analyzing holding several friendly matches abroad: clearly this has not been confirmed, but we are looking at this scenario, to undergo a preseason of about 40 days.”
However, this tour to Asia was threatened with cancellation due to ticket chaos and last-minute match rearrangements. Inter Miami finally decided to continue the tour, albeit for “bureaucratic and commercial reasons.”
Inter Miami hopes that with this tour and friendly matches, they can improve their performance and readiness to face the MLS 2024 season. The club also aspires to win the MLS title, after previously only managing to win the 2023 Leagues Cup.