RUMOR: Lionel Messi to leave Inter Miami in 2025

The football world is abuzz with speculation as FC Barcelona legend Lionel Messi appears to be planning his next move after his stint with Inter Miami in Major League Soccer (MLS). According to reports from El Nacional, Messi is set to depart from Inter Miami in 2025, marking a significant juncture in his illustrious career.

This decision comes after Messi’s unexpected departure from Barcelona, his home for over two decades. Surprisingly, he chose to head to Inter Miami instead of returning to his former club. Messi was nearing an exit from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) but opted for a new adventure in the United States.

His move to Inter Miami has been nothing short of a roaring success. According to Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas, Messi signed a two-season deal with the club, reportedly earning an annual salary between $50 and $60m. Additionally, there have been rumors of lucrative endorsement deals with Apple and Adidas, further boosting his income.

However, Messi’s contract with Inter Miami expires in 2025, again making him a free agent. While the United States is gearing up to host the World Cup in 2026, it appears Messi is eyeing a return to his homeland, Argentina, instead of extending his American adventure.

Messi recently experienced the adoration he received from Argentine fans during a testimonial match for Maxi Rodriguez at Estadio Marcelo Bielsa. With his heroics leading Argentina to victory in the 2022 World Cup, Messi has emerged from the shadow of the legendary Diego Maradona and has gained widespread acceptance in his homeland.

Returning to professional play for Newell’s Old Boys would provide a fitting bookend to Messi’s remarkable journey. The Inter Miami man left their academy as a 13-year-old to join FC Barcelona, where he achieved legendary status.

Regardless of his next destination, one thing remains almost certain – Messi will don the Blaugrana colors once more in a tribute match when the renovation of Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium is complete. As Messi continues to captivate football fans worldwide, his next chapter promises to be as intriguing as his storied career.

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Lionel Messi is facing the biggest break of his career at Inter Miami

Lionel Messi, the captain of Inter Miami, is grappling with the most extended break of his illustrious career, reported by GOAL. As Inter Miami strives to secure a spot in the MLS playoffs, they face a daunting task of closing a five-point gap in the remaining five fixtures. While the team celebrated their Leagues Cup triumph, they suffered a setback in the U.S. Open Cup final. Messi, their linchpin, has been sidelined, making only a brief 37-minute appearance in the last five games.

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Inter Miami’s playoff hopes hang in the balance, and they are banking on Messi’s return to full fitness to bolster their chances of clinching a historic MLS Cup triumph. If the team falls short in this quest, their 2023 campaign will culminate on October 21. Following this, Messi might face a prolonged hiatus, potentially sitting out until late February 2024 when the next MLS season commences.

While there’s a possibility of Messi representing Argentina in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil in November, he could endure a 95-day hiatus from the last fixture until February 24, a tentative start date for the 2024 MLS season as per Forbes. If he doesn’t participate in both these qualifiers, it could mark a record rest period for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Lionel Messi’s only comparable hiatus occurred during the initial days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when he endured 99 match-less days with Barcelona. Inter Miami is fervently working towards securing a playoff berth, aiming to avoid creating unwanted history for their superstar signing by ensuring a strong finish in the regular season. The team and its fans eagerly await Messi’s return to the pitch, hoping it will propel them towards MLS glory.

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Inter Miami’s ticket prices skyrocket to watch Lionel Messi

Inter Miami fans looking forward to witnessing global football icons Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba in action next season might need to dig deeper into their pockets, reported by GOAL. The MLS club has revealed significant price hikes for the 2024 season, making it pricier for supporters to attend matches.

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Season ticket holders in Florida were recently informed about the price adjustments, with renewal forms reflecting the new costs. The cheapest season card, which was priced at $485 in 2023, has now surged to $884, marking an 82% increase. Even the most affordable ticket, situated at the south end of DRV PNK Stadium (distinct from the supporters’ section behind the north goal), has risen to $867, reflecting a 46% hike.

Prices across all categories are climbing steeply. Access to club seating, for example, will now cost supporters $7,650, a substantial 112% increase from the $3,609 charged in 2023. For a more luxurious experience, the ‘Loge’ box seats, which include complimentary food and drinks, start at $42,840. This premium package also offers VIP parking passes and exclusive entrances.

While Inter Miami’s season ticket packages do include perks like access to open training sessions, watch parties, and discounts at concession stands and the official club store, fans are likely to feel the financial strain. It’s important to note that Lionel Messi is currently under contract with the club until 2025, with an option for a 12-month extension. Additionally, Inter Miami plans to move to a newly constructed stadium before the 2025 MLS season kicks off. As fans brace for these financial adjustments, the allure of watching international football stars like Messi might mitigate the impact, keeping the stands vibrant with enthusiastic supporters.

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MLS stars react to Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami shirt swaps

Lionel Messi‘s arrival in Major League Soccer (MLS) has not only electrified American soccer but also provided MLS stars with cherished memories through shirt swaps with the Argentine icon, reported by GOAL. Swapping jerseys with Messi has become a coveted experience akin to winning a trophy.

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So far, Messi has exchanged jerseys with 12 players in the United States, including eight fellow Argentinians, two Americans, a Brazilian, and a Ghanaian. Atlanta United’s Santiago Sosa, who faced his compatriot Messi in the Leagues Cup, shared his experience: “Having faced him is a great memory that’s always going to stay with me. Having the shirt is something nice not just for me but for my family as well. It’s a trophy, in a way.”

Thiago Almada, another recipient of Messi’s jersey, reflected on the experience, stating, “When I grabbed it, it smelled like perfume. On the national team, I never wanted to ask him for his jersey or bother him, so I’m very happy to have his shirt.” Almada was part of Argentina’s triumphant 2022 World Cup-winning squad.

John McCarthy, a goalkeeper for LAFC, is one of the two Americans who secured a Messi jersey. He managed to secure the coveted souvenir after a post-game scramble, despite having already exchanged his shirt with Inter Miami’s Drake Callender. McCarthy humorously recalled his request: “All I really said was: ‘Ah, Messi. ¿Camiseta, por favor?’ I felt bad because he kind of looked at me like, ‘Where’s yours?’ in a sense. I guess I’m lucky we don’t have many Argentinians on the team!”

For these MLS players, swapping shirts with Lionel Messi represents a remarkable moment in their careers, and they treasure these iconic mementos as a testament to their shared experiences on the soccer field.

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Inter Miami boss Tata Martino speaks on Lionel Messi’s return

Inter Miami boss Tata Martino provided assurance that Lionel Messi will return to action later this season, following the Herons’ disappointing 2-1 defeat in the U.S. Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo, reported by GOAL.

Messi was sidelined for the Open Cup final due to an injury concern, and Martino emphasized the need for caution in the player’s recovery. He stated that Messi will be evaluated on a weekly basis throughout the remainder of the season.

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“It was not prudent for him to play,” explained Martino. “It was too risky, even for a few minutes. He will play in league games going forward, but we will go game by game based on what the medical team tells us.”

This match marked the fourth consecutive game that Messi has missed since joining Inter Miami. His absences included two matches due to international duty and, most recently, the U.S. Open Cup final due to the lingering injury concern.

Despite his absence on the pitch, Lionel Messi attended Wednesday’s final alongside his family, showing his support for the team. Inter Miami fans eagerly anticipate his return to action, which may come as soon as this weekend when the Herons face New York City FC on Saturday, September 30.

The Argentine star’s presence has already made a significant impact on Inter Miami, and fans are eagerly awaiting his full return to action to witness his magic on the field once again.

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Lionel Messi’s absence felt in Inter Miami’s US Open Cup final loss

Inter Miami faced a disappointing defeat in the US Open Cup final as they went down 2-1 to Houston Dynamo. The absence of Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba due to injuries was keenly felt, leaving Miami without their star player’s magic on the field. Houston Dynamo seized control early in the match, taking the lead in the 24th minute with a goal from Griffin Dorsey. Their dominance continued, and Miami’s troubles compounded when DeAndre Yedlin’s foul in the box resulted in a penalty, confidently converted by Amine Bassi.

In the second half, Inter Miami, under the watchful eye of owner David Beckham, showed signs of resurgence. Josef Martinez managed to pull one back for Miami in the 92nd minute. However, it was too little too late, and Houston held on to secure the US Open Cup. The absence of Messi, whose fitness had been a subject of speculation, was a significant blow for Miami. Without their star, they lacked clinical finishing and the creative spark Messi typically provides. His absence was palpable on the field.

Houston’s dominance was evident in the statistics, particularly in the first half, where they took a remarkable 18 shots compared to Miami’s solitary attempt. This marked one of the most significant shot disparities in the first half of any MLS match in 2023. Although Inter Miami improved in the second half, the damage was already done, and Houston’s resilient defense held firm. While Josef Martinez did manage to score late in the game, he missed crucial chances earlier in the match that could have altered the outcome. The 30-year-old striker couldn’t replicate his usual clinical finishing, squandering two promising opportunities.

In the end, Inter Miami’s hopes were dashed in a chaotic final few seconds. They couldn’t convert their last-gasp opportunities, lacking composure and clinical precision when it mattered most. The absence of Messi undoubtedly played a significant role in Miami’s disappointing performance, leaving fans wondering how different the outcome might have been with their star player on the pitch.

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Ohne Messi und Jordi Alba: “Müdes” Miami verliert Pokalfinale gegen Houston

Der zweite Titelgewinn in dieser Saison ist Inter Miami nicht geglückt. Der Beckham-Klub verlor das Finale im U.S. Open Cup gegen Houston Dynamo ohne seine Topstars.

Hector Herrera mit dem Lamar Hunt Cup: Houston Dynamo feiert im DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

Hector Herrera mit dem Lamar Hunt Cup: Houston Dynamo feiert im DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

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Bis zu 400 Dollar sollen laut US-Medienberichten für ein Ticket verlangt worden sein. Diejenigen, die diese Summe aufbrachten, um das Pokal-Endspiel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, zwischen Inter Miami und Houston Dynamo sehen zu können, werden sicher ziemlich lange Gesichter gemacht haben, als der Spielberichtsbogen veröffentlicht wurde.

Die Hausherren gingen nämlich ohne ihre angeschlagenen Top-Akteure Lionel Messi und Jordi Alba ins Rennen, die sich jüngst im Ligaspiel der Major League Soccer gegen Toronto im ersten Spielabschnitt hatten auswechseln lassen müssen. Bis kurz vor dem Spiel hatte Miami abwarten wollen mit der Entscheidung, ob einer oder gar beide Protagonisten würden auflaufen können. Letztlich saßen beide in Zivilklamotten auf der Tribüne.

Vorentscheidung vor der Pause

“Wir konnten nicht einmal daran denken, ihn ein paar Minuten lang einzusetzen, weil wir damit Risiken eingehen würden”, sagte Trainer Gerardo Martino, einst Coach des FC Barcelona und der argentinischen Nationalelf. “Tata” erwarte, dass Messi irgendwann in den kommenden fünf verbleibenden MLS-Spielen für Miami wieder spielen kann. “Er wird auf jeden Fall spielen, bevor die Liga zu Ende ist.”

Und so führte Sergio Busquets die Rosafarbenen an, die gegen Houston am Ende verdient den Kürzeren ziehen sollten. Griffin Dorsey und Amine Bassi per Elfmeter stellten für die Texaner, deren Miteigner und NBA-Star James Harden als Augenzeuge mitjubelte, schon vor der Pause die Weichen. Erst in der Nachspielzeit konnte Ex-Serie-A-Profi Josef Martinez ebenfalls vom Punkt noch verkürzen. Wenig später war Schluss und der Lamar Hunt Cup wanderte in die Hände von Dynamo-Kapitän Hector Herrera, zuletzt für Atletico Madrid am Ball.

Chance auf die Play-off-Teilnahme

Wie schwer Messi (elf Tore und acht Vorlagen für Inter) verletzt ist, ist weiterhin nicht bekannt. Der siebenmalige Weltfußballer hatte in den vergangenen Wochen bereits drei Partien für Inter sowie ein Länderspiel für Argentinien verpasst. Miami, das im August den Leagues Cup im Endspiel gegen Nashville gewann und damit den ersten Titel in der Klubgeschichte holte, kämpft in der Liga noch um den Einzug in die Play-offs. Nächster Halt für Inter (32 Punkte bei 29 Spielen) ist in der Nacht zum Sonntag deutscher Zeit (1.30 Uhr) das Heimspiel gegen den New York City FC (9., 37 Punkte, 31 Spiele), einer der Klubs, die es im Kampf um Platz neun (Pre-Play-offs) noch einzuholen gilt.

Sixers’ James Harden goes absolutely bonkers amid Houston’s domination of Lionel Messi-less Inter Miami

The Houston Dynamo put on a show at DRV PNK stadium. It just so happened that Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden was present to see the absolute decimation of the Inter Miami squad. The US Open Cup Finals saw two stars absent for the herons as Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi could not play. But, this did not mean that the Sixers star could not enjoy every minute of the matchup.

James Harden was donning a Dynamo jersey and watching the US Open Cup matchup. He loved every play but he went wild. The hype was building up when Griffin Dorsey scored an insane Golazo in front of the Sixers star in the 24th minute of the game. Inter Miami could not respond after as the Dynamo got the ball on offense again. The Sixers shooting guard went nuts when Amine Bassi hit a crucial penalty, via CBS Sports.

Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba’s absences were too huge for the Herons. They did get a chance to wipe Houston’s clean sheet off the stat sheet. But, Josef Martinez’s goal was too late to help Inter Miami rally back from behind. It came in the 92nd minute of the fixture.

It looked like the Herons were handling the ball well but just did not have a go-to guy on offense. They had the ball 59% of them throughout the whole game. But, they could only attempt shots 12 times as compared to the Dynamo who had 19 shots with five of them being on target. All of this cost them another trophy. But earned the Sixers star a nice experience at the US Open Cup.

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How to watch Inter Miami vs. Houston Dynamo in U.S. Open Cup final with Lionel Messi’s status up in air

Ever since Lionel Messi made his MLS arrival, the soccer community can’t get enough of him. Now, his team prepares for one of the biggest games of his career in the U.S. without knowing if he will play or not. Messi’s Inter Miami is in the final of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. It is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States, and Lionel Messi is going to be a game-time decision for the contest. Here is everything you need to know before kickoff.

What is the U.S. Open Cup?

The U.S. Open Cup is the longest-running sports competition in American sports. It is a single-elimination tournament featuring teams from all around the country. While MLS teams have dominated the competition, teams from professional leagues, including the USLC, USL1, and NISA, have competed. Amateur teams also partake in the tournament.

The U.S. Open Cup has been played every year since 1913 except for 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. MLS teams began play in 1996 and has dominated ever since. The last time a non-MLS team won the cup was in 1996, when the Rochester Rhinos walked away victorious.

Orlando City SC is the defending champion, but they were eliminated in the Round of 32 during their first game in the tournament. Now, Inter Miami has reached the U.S Open Cup final. They are taking on the Houston Dynamo, but there is one overarching question. Will Lionel Messi play in the game?

Lionel Messi’s status

Inter Miami has been unstoppable since Messi came to town, but the 36-year-old has been dealing with injury issues as of late. While he started on Sept. 20 in a 4-0 victory over Toronto, he left the game after halftime due to a leg injury.

Messi is dealing with a scar tissue problem from an old injury, and he didn’t travel to the team’s last game against Orlando City, a game in which the team lost. He also missed the Sept. 16 loss to Atlanta.

The megastar is a game-time decision for the U.S. Open Cup.

“We will decide tomorrow based off how he’s feeling,” coach Gerardo Martino said the day before the final.

If it weren’t a final, the team likely wouldn’t risk playing their superstar, but because the stakes are high, there is a chance we see Messi take the field. The team is very reliant on their forward, and they will likely need him if they want to beat a Houston Dynamo team that has been on a roll as of late.

Houston Dynamo manager Ben Olsen is preparing as if Messi will play. The superstar always shows up in the biggest moments, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him tough this one out.

Inter Miami has been ride or die with Messi, but he isn’t the team’s only star dealing with an injury issue. Perhaps the next best player, Jordi Alba, is not expected to play because of muscle soreness. Messi and Alba are former Barcelona teammates and joined David Beckham’s team around the same time.

When and where is the final?

The U.S Open Cup Final is at 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept. 27. Inter Miami and Houston Dynamo will be facing off at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Inter Miami’s home venue.

This year is the 108th edition of the tournament. Messi and Inter Miami already won the Leagues Cup on the back of Lionel Messi’s skill. If he is able to go, there is a good chance the former bottom-dwellers will be able to claim another trophy in only a matter of a couple of months.

How to watch Inter Miami vs. Houston Dynamo FC

The soccer match will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. It is also in Spanish on Universo. The final can be streamed on a number of platforms, including fuboTV, Peacock, and Paramount+.

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 27 | Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

Location: DRV PNK Stadium — Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

TV channel: CBS Sports Network| Live stream: fuboTV (click for a free trial)

Odds: Inter Miami -180

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Is Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi playing in U.S. Open Cup final vs. Houston Dynamo?

Inter Miami is gearing up for the U.S. Open Cup final against the Houston Dynamo, but everyone is wondering whether or not their star forward Lionel Messi is going to be suiting up for the game. Messi is dealing with irritation from the scar tissue of an old injury he dealt with in one of his leg muscles, leaving everyone to wonder this; is Lionel Messi playing tonight in the U.S. Open Cup final vs. the Houston Dynamo?

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Lionel Messi injury status vs. Dynamo

Messi has sat out three of Inter Miami’s past four games, and did not train with the team on Tuesday in preparation for this match. However, given how it’s the final match for the U.S. Open Cup and there’s some silverware on the line, Inter Miami may decide to see if Messi is good enough to play in this one in an effort to walk away as the victors of the tournament.

Inter Miami manager Tata Martino said on Tuesday that even he had no idea whether or not Messi would play, and it seems like he’s a game-time decision due to this injury. There’s always a chance that Messi could start and come out of the game early, or come off the bench later in the game if the contest is close and his team needs a spark.

Messi surely wants to play in this game, but Inter Miami may not be willing to risk further injury by sending him on the field if he’s not fully healthy. It looks like the star Argentinian is a question mark for the U.S. Open Cup final, and there likely won’t be resolution on his status until shortly before kickoff.

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