Lionel Messi’s first training session at Inter Miami is only open to the media, not the public.

On July 18, a day and a half after the grand presentation at the DRV PNK stadium, Messi and Sergio Busquets started training with the new team. The training session only allows the media to take photos and videos, instead of welcoming fans like Cristiano Ronaldo’s first training session at Al Nassr.

The training session started at 9 am with a temperature of about 30 degrees Celsius. Coach Tata Martino and his teammates greeted the two rookies with hugs and high fives. Martino used to coach Messi and Busquets at Barca.

Messi practiced with his new teammates on the morning of July 18. Photo: AP
Messi practiced with his new teammates on the morning of July 18. Photo: AP

Messi smiles and chats with Josef Martinez, his new partner in attack. In 2018, under the guidance of coach Martino at Atlanta United, the Venezuelan striker became the MLS top scorer with 31 goals in 34 games. After moving to Inter Miami in early 2023, Martinez scored six goals in 20 games.

David Beckham, President and Co-Founder of Inter Miami, was also present at the training session.

On July 19, Messi and Busquets can welcome another former teammate, Jordi Alba. The Spanish left-back also joined Inter Miami on a free transfer. Alba has received offers from Saudi Arabian clubs, but prioritizes the pleasant weather in Miami. He is about to become a father for the third time.

Another former Barca player, Luis Suarez is also a target of Inter Miami. However, the American team only recruited when the Uruguayan striker became a free agent. Suarez has a contract with Gremio (Brazil) until December 2024.

Inter Miami is also targeting Diego Gomez (Libertad Asuncion Club), Facundo Farias (Colon) and Brian Aguirre (Newell’s). Coach Martino wants these three young players to play the role of a puzzle around Messi, Busquets and Alba.

Messi chats with Josef Martinez on the Miami training ground on the morning of July 18. Photo: AP
Messi chats with Josef Martinez on the Miami training ground on the morning of July 18. Photo: AP

Messi, Busquets and Alba played together at Barca from 2012 to 2021. Messi and Alba used to be good partners on the left wing. Busquets plays an important role in distributing the ball in the midfield. They have contributed to five La Ligas, five King’s Cups and one Champions League. Messi and Busquets have won three and two more Champions Leagues than Alba, thanks to their previous playing time.

In the summer of 2023, all three players refused to renew their contracts with the old team in Europe. Messi left PSG after two years playing. Busquets and Alba bid farewell to Barca. Before leaving, they both won the national championship, Ligue 1 and La Liga with PSG and Barca.

Messi and Busquets will play their first match for Inter Miami on July 21, against Cruz Azuk (Mexico) in the group stage of the Leagues Cup.

By news24h

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