Lionel Messi makes his Inter Miami debut in the first leg of the League Cup against Cruz Azula.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (TodayNews) — It’s Lionel Messi’s debut game day for Inter Miami.

Messi is expected to play Friday night when Inter Miami take on Cruz Azul in a League Cup match at their new home stadium. Team officials say all tickets – around 21,000 for the newly expanded stadium – have been sold, though thousands were available for resale on secondary markets Friday morning.

It’s unclear how much Messi, Argentina’s world champion and the man Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham calls the best player of all time, will be on the pitch on his debut. Last weekend, he signed a 2.5-year contract with Inter Miami, which will receive him from 50 to 60 million dollars a year. It will almost certainly work for over $1 million per match.

On Sunday he was introduced to his new home supporters and on Tuesday he officially trained for the first time as a member of the club.

In June, Messi made the decision to join Inter Miami and move up to Major League Soccer. He considered returning to Barcelona, ​​the club where he spent almost his entire career, having spent the last two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain.

But Inter Miami and MLS found a way to land seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, setting the stage for an unprecedented era for a club that largely deflated over its first four seasons.

The League Cup is a tournament between MLS clubs and Liga MX, the top Mexican league. Cruz Azul won the first version of this tournament in 2019.

None of the clubs have made great strides this season. Inter Miami has the fewest points in the MLS standings; Cruz Azul is the only team in the Mexican league that has not yet scored points in the standings in the first three matches of the season.

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