AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell
Lionel Messi is set to make his debut with Inter Miami on Friday, but he could be in an unfamiliar position.
Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham suggested that there’s a chance Messi will be coming off the bench when the MLS club plays its Leagues Cup opener against Cruz Azul of Mexico.
“We don’t know if Leo will start the game or whether he’ll come on, because I think at the end of the day, he needs to be ready,” Beckham told ESPN. “We need to protect him and make sure that he’s ready because he’s had a vacation.”
Messi arrived in Florida recently and his signing was confirmed on Saturday. The 36-year-old, who will be paid between $50 million and $60 million over his two-and-a-half-year deal, was presented to a sellout crowd at Miami’s DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday and he completed his first training session on Tuesday.
“He’s now been in Miami for a week and he’s been training really hard and he looks great,” Beckham added. “So I think Leo and [head coach] Tata [Martino] will decide when he plays and when he comes on on Friday, but the atmosphere here will be incredible, and hopefully we get a win.”
Whether Messi starts or comes off the bench, fans will surely be excited to be witnessing one of the greatest players of all time play in any capacity.