How was Messi’s first month at Inter Miami

After a period of ups and downs at PSG, star Lionel Messi spent a happy first month playing football at Inter Miami and has the opportunity to win his first title tomorrow morning 20/8.

Launched in the rain. Despite heavy rains that delayed the launch ceremony, nearly 20,000 fans filled DRV PNK Stadium to witness The moment Messi made his debut Inter Miami July 16. Co-owner Jorge Mas even sees heavy rain as a positive sign. “We do this in the rain. This is holy water!” he said.

Former player David Beckham insisted Messi’s joining Inter Miami was “Dreams come true”, and proud that the Argentina superstar chose the club to play for in the next phase of his career. The England legend, who is also a co-owner of Inter Miami, hopes these players will inspire the next generation and help build a legacy in American football.

Lionel Messi's son, Thiago, mocks fan who taunted his father outside Barcelona home

Then came the moment that fans had been waiting for – Messi waved and walked over to where the club’s owners were waiting. The owner of the seven Ballon d’Or spoke and thanked the fans, new teammates as well as the Inter Miami management for the spectacular reception. At the end of his speech, Messi took the number 10 shirt to pose for photos with the club’s co-owners, Jorde Mas, Jose Mas and David Beckham.

Everyday life. Shortly after arriving in the United States, Messi took his wife Antonella and their three sons Thiago, Mateo and Ciro shopping at a local supermarket called Publix. Messi’s family was happy, smiling as they strolled through the stalls and only stopped to take pictures with a few fans when they recognized the 36-year-old striker.

Since then, Messi has stopped appearing in public much, apart from dining with the Beckham and Sergio Busquets families at the restaurant, owned by singers Bad Bunny and David Grutman. On another occasion, in early July, fans saw the Argentine and his family leave the Cafe Prima Pasta restaurant through the back door.

Miami and the United States give Messi something he has never experienced during his time in Barcelona and Paris: privacy. Many players see this as the main reason for moving to MLS. England legend Steven Gerrard has said he cherishes being able to walk the beaches of Los Angeles with his family, after spending his entire career at Liverpool.

Messi và vợ con đi siêu thị Publix. Ảnh: Palm Beach

 

Messi and his wife and children go to the Publix supermarket. Photo: Palm Beach

In an interview early last month, Messi said want to be a normal person, find a place where he can stay away from the spotlight because football is not the number one sport in America. Miami is home to more than 100,000 Argentines, and the majority speak Spanish.

Of course, Messi does not have that luxury, when he is famous at another level and everywhere he goes with bodyguards. The Argentina star may occasionally enjoy trips like the one to the Publix supermarket, but will never be able to live like a normal person.

Forget about the hard times in Paris. In an interview with Spanish newspaper AS, Messi admitted a group of PSG fans no longer support him as they did in the early days. The relationship between Messi and PSG fans began to deteriorate from the beginning of 2023. After defeat in the 1/8th round of the Champions League for the second time in a row, a section of fans criticized Messi. The last games of the season, the group of crazy fans constantly the or the 2022 World Cup winner.

Relations between the parties were also strained after Messi went to Saudi Arabia to promote tourism in early May. Messi planned this in advance, but PSG forced players to train immediately after the loss to Lorient in Ligue I. Messi posted a video apology after the trip, saying he had postponed it once and could not do otherwise.

In his first press conference in the United States as an Inter Miami player on August 18, Messi admitted that he never wanted to go to PSG and only chose the Paris club when he could not renew with Barca. The 8-year-old star also said that he chose to come to Miami for his family, not just for sports. “Moving from Barca to PSG is relatively complicated, and from PSG to Miami is much easier,” he said. “I’m here not only to play football, but also for my family’s daily activities.”

Được tập cùng những đồng đội quen thuộc như Busquets (giữa), hay Alba giúp Messi tìm lại niềm vui ở Inter Miami. Ảnh: AFP

 

Training with familiar teammates like Busquets (center), or Alba helps Messi find joy again at Inter Miami. Photo: AFP

Meet new teammates. Inter Miami players had a similar reaction when they realized what had happened: “How did Messi sneak into the team’s WhatsApp group?” Somehow, this happened before the Argentina star made his debut for his new club. Messi — the greatest player in history — entered the team’s online group without anyone knowing.

Inter Miami defender DeAndre Yedlin revealed teammate Leonardo Campana messaged the team’s WhatsApp group asking for tickets and was answered by Messi himself. “I didn’t even know Messi had been added to the group, but he immediately asked Campana how many tickets he needed,” Yedlin said. “It took me by surprise, as Messi has only known Campana for about three days, and it’s a great new example of Messi’s generosity.”

Messi has had a close relationship with Jordi Alba and Busquets since his time at Barca, but has appeared to fit in, building relationships with lesser-known teammates. He even gave each of his teammates a Beats by Dre headset in Inter Miami’s iconic pink and black, which currently costs $4,000 each.

Messi trò chuyện với De Yedlin trước một buổi tập. Ảnh: Reuters

 

Messi chats with De Yedlin before a training session. Photo: Reuters

Appeal to the showbiz world. On social media, a series of stars such as basketball player Steph Curry, football legend Tom Brady, Colombian singer Maluma, Cuban-American rapper Pitbull or DJ Khaled sent messages welcoming Messi to the US.

Basketball star LeBron James, supermodel Kim Kardashian and former tennis player Serena Williams all attended Messi’s debut against Cruz Azul. They were all in admiration, and Beckham choked up and turned to hug his wife Victoria as the Inter Miami rookie scored a superb free-kick in injury time.

The fever didn’t stop there. Messi walked out with DJ Khaled’s son, Asahd, against Atlanta United. Former NFL star Tony Romo appeared in Dallas, or music stars Marc Anthony, Diddy, Rick Ross were all caught admiring the Argentine.

The race to change shirts. Almost at the end of every match, opposing players want Messi’s jerseys, but only one or a few can be so lucky.

Since arriving at Inter Miami, Messi has favored his compatriots. Thiago Almada – part of Argentina’s squad that won the 2022 World Cup – received the captain’s jersey after losing with Atlanta United to Inter Miami. Then there were Alan Velasco and Julian Carranza at the conclusion of FC Dallas and Philadelphia Union games.

Messi đổi áo với Alan Velasco sau trận Inter Miami - Dallas. Ảnh: La Nacion

 

Messi swapped shirts with Alan Velasco after the Inter Miami-Dallas match. Photo: La Nacion

Meanwhile, Cruz Azul’s Carlos Rotondi received Messi’s jersey thanks to his close friendship with Lisandro Martinez – Messi’s teammate on the team – in addition to having played for Newell’s Old Boys.

New celebrations. Since arriving at Inter Miami, Messi has celebrated superhero-style three times in Marvel Comics. First, he posed like the superhero Thor after scoring in the win over Atlanta United. The 36-year-old then placed his arms crossed at his chest like the Black Panther superhero after scoring in a 3-1 win over Orlando City. On August 12, after shooting against Charlotte, Messi “shot silk” like the character Spider-Man.

Some say the Argentina star has either been paid by Marvel or teased a future project he could be involved in. However, Messi revealed that the celebrations according to Marvel characters are for his children.

Messi và những màn mừng bàn thắng theo các nhân vật trong phim của Marvel.

 

Messi and goal celebrations follow characters from Marvel movies.

“My three sons are still on summer vacation, they haven’t started the new school year yet, so we watch Marvel superhero movies every night,” Messi said at a press conference on Aug. 18. “They came up with ideas and suggestions when I scored in the game and celebrated with these heroes. It all started like that and we continued that ritual. Every time we watch a movie, we practice a kind of goal celebration.”

Wait for the first title. In six games, Messi scored nine goals and assisted one for his new team. Inter Miami won all six of these matches by scores: Cruz Azul 2–1, Atlanta United 4–0, Orlando City 3–1, FC Dallas 5–3 in a penalty shootout (4–4 draw in 90 minutes), Charlotte 4–0 and Philadelphia Union 4–1.

The 2022 World Cup winner gives Inter Miami a chance to win its first title when the Leagues Cup final takes place at 8am on August 20, Hanoi time, at Nashville SC’s Geodis Park. The stadium has a capacity of 8,30 spectators.

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