Messi’s Inter Miami set for River Plate friendly ahead of 2024 MLS season
After a preseason friendly with Brazilians Flamengo fell through, Inter Miami are reported to have arranged a January clash with Argentinian club River Plate.
After it emerged this week that a January friendly with Brazilian club Flamengo has been called off, Inter Miami appear to have found alternative South American opposition for their preseason preparations.
According to Germán Balcarce, a journalist for the Argentinian newspaper La Nación, the Herons are to take on Buenos Aires giants River Plate.
Miami to take on Argentinians in Texas
The friendly, slated for 20 January 2024, would be held in Arlington, Texas, at AT&T Stadium, the home arena of NFL franchise the Dallas Cowboys.
River reunion for Miami’s ex-Barça stars
The clash would see Inter Miami star Lionel Messi come up against River for the first time since the Argentina captain faced Los Millonarios as a Barcelona player in 2015, in the Catalans’ 3-0 Club World Cup final victory.
Messi’s Miami team-mates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba also played for Barça in that clash in Yokohama eight years ago.
What’s more, Miami could have a fourth member of that Club World Cup-winning team in their ranks by the time they face River.
Suárez linked with Miami move
Striker Luis Suárez, who is expected to leave Gremio when his contract in Brazil expires at the end of December, is being tipped to join the MLS franchise ahead of the 2024 season.
Suárez scored twice in Barça’s 2015 final victory in Japan, after Messi had opened the scoring at Nissan Stadium.
Herons gearing up for 2024 MLS title push
Inter Miami, who on Thursday announced they have sold out of season tickets for the 2024 regular season, are due to begin their MLS campaign in late February or early March.
The Florida franchise will be bidding to return to the playoffs, having missed out on the postseason in 2023.
And although Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino’s men finished second bottom of the Eastern Conference, their upturn in form following Messi’s July arrival has led them to be installed among the favourites to win next term’s MLS championship.