Lionel Messi debut: Inter Miami fans go wild as World Cup winner enters game for highly-anticipated debut
Lionel Messi starts from bench despite high expectations from fans Argentina star seen as David Beckham’s bigger second coming Newstimesuk.com provides all the latest international sports news
Lionel Messi’s much-anticipated MLS debut whipped up anticipatory hysteria when he came off the bench for Inter Miami.
Messi started from the bench against Cruz Azul in the League Cup but coach Tata Martino brought the Argentine superstar on in the 53rd minute.
His former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets joined him on the bench and came in second behind Messi. As the South Florida team begins its first Group J game. As he warmed up, ‘Messi’ chants rang out around the stadium.
Fans arrived early in anticipation of seeing the Argentines as supporters lined up before the gates opened an hour and a half before kick off.
They enjoyed events in the Fan Zone, lines stretching outside the team store and tailgating being enjoyed within three hours of kickoff.
Lionel Messi came off the bench to much fanfare to make his debut for Inter Miami vs Cruz Azul
Messi warmed up early in the second half and came on in the 53rd to much fanfare.
Not a single person had a phone in their pocket when the World Cup-winning team walked
Antonella Roccuzzo, Messi’s wife, looks on as her children sit down — before his debut
Messi arrived at the stadium to great fanfare at the same time as he struggled to get down the tunnel without the noise of the fans.
He was stopped by Cruz Azul staff for a few selfies. Jorge Mas took the field as fans filled the stands in Fort Lauderdale.
The Inter Miami co-owner led the crowd and earned praise for his latest feat. He has dreamed of this day since before Inter Miami kicked a ball.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner took part in his first training session with the team on Tuesday, two days after his grand unveiling in front of a full house at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
The unbridled excitement at Messi’s arrival on the field was no surprise to anyone.
Inter Miami announced late Thursday that tickets to the Cruz Azul game are officially sold out, marking the first time this season that not an extra seat is available.
Ticket prices for the event went up before Messi’s arrival from PSG was confirmed. Some scalpers have been offered obscene prices – up to $110,000 – for the chance to see the maestro in person.
Messi has already been seen settling into his new life in Miami – and has been spotted at Publix amid much amusement on social media.
Those who gathered inside Inter Miami’s DRV PNK Stadium were delighted at the historic moment
In addition to LeBron James, Messi was exposed to David and Victoria Beckham
Inter Miami fans express their love for Messi by reading a tifo; ‘Welcome to the Family’
Cruz Azul stunned the home side with a well-worked equalizer after Messi’s introduction.
He was officially unveiled as an Inter Miami player at an elaborate ceremony in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, where fans braved storms and heavy rain to see Messi.
David Beckham’s Inter Miami desperately needs some Messi magic in the league.
It is winless in 11 MLS games and last in the Eastern Conference – 12 points out of a playoff position.
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