Inter Miami arranging friendly with Messi’s boyhood club Newell’s
The MLS franchise is planning a friendly against the Argentine club in the New Year. Messi joined Newell’s as a six-year-old, before relocating to Barcelona in 2001.
Inter Miami have more high-profile friendly matches in the pipeline for when the MLS season reaches its conclusion in December. Yesterday, it emerged that an international marketing company is looking at the possibility of organising a friendly match between Messi’s team Miami and Cristiano Ronaldo’s, Al Nassr with China as a possible destination.
In another nod to Messi’s past, reports coming out of Argentina on Friday claim that Inter Miami are hoping to arrange a post-season friendly with his boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys early in the New Year. In a post on X, TyC Sports journalist Gastón Edul claimed that both clubs are working on staging a friendly, which would take place in Miami in January or February 2024.
Newell’s, Messi, Maradona
If the friendly is arranged and goes ahead, it would be Messi’s first reencounter with his first proper club. He joined Newell’s as a six-year-old, scoring close to 500 goals for the club before relocating to Barcelona with his family in February 2001. He has never lost his love for his first club, hinting that he had dreamt about ending his playing days with Newell’s, where it all started. In November 2020 when soccer legend Diego Maradona passed away, after scoring in the 5-0 win over Osasuna, Messi gave his own personal tribute by whipping off his Barcelona jersey to reveal a replica of the No.10 Newell’s shirt which El Pelusa wore during his two seasons at the club in 1993-4.
It would also be only the third time that Messi has faced Argentinean opposition since he left his home country.
Inter Miami usually programs four to five friendly matches during the preseason. As a warm-up for this season, they played against Vasco da Gama and had other games arranged against Florida International University, Saint Louis CITY SC, New England Revolution and Austin FC although some of those games ended up being cancelled.