REVEALED: Inter Miami ‘plan to unveil Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets on July 16 at their stadium’ as MLS gears up for the arrival of two of soccer’s biggest stars
Inter Miami are hoping to officially unveil Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets on Sunday, July 16 at their DRV PNK Stadium.
Messi and Busquets are MLS-bound, with the legendary pair destined to reunite at David Beckham’s franchise after their all-conquering time together at Barcelona.
Messi’s impending arrival is set to ignite an explosion of interest in Major League Soccer and his close friend Busquets, it was announced on Friday, has chosen to follow him to the United States.
Mundo Deportivo in Spain say that Miami want to hold the ceremony celebrating the signing of the duo on July 16, a day after their away game against St Louis in MLS.
Lionel Messi could be unveiled as an Inter Miami player on July 16 at the team’s stadium
It is then anticipated that he will make his debut on July 21 for Miami in the Leagues Cup against Cruz Azul.
Speaking in Argentina overnight, Messi said of his impending MLS move: ‘There will be a few days of vacation and then I will start in my new city, my new club – I am very excited.’
Miami appeared to tease Messi’s new shirt number in an Instagram post celebrating his 36th birthday on Saturday.
The team tagged Messi in an Instagram graphic saying ‘Feliz Cumple’ – Spanish for ‘happy birthday’ with the ‘le’ at the end painted to look like the number ’10’.
But between now and then, Miami desperately need to start picking up points in MLS – the team have lost seven in a row and are 11 points adrift of the playoff places.
With four games in the league to come before Messi arrives, Miami risk being cut adrift of reaching post-season.
Saturday night’s emphatic 4-1 defeat by Philadelphia Union was a new low.
Messi and Busquets might be joining mid-season but it would be a disaster for MLS and the profile of the league if Miami don’t make post-season.
Miami plays Columbus, DC United, Austin and St Louis before Messi is expected to start playing.