Lionel Messi drops a hint that his Inter Miami debut will be in late July – but admits it will be ‘very difficult’ to play for Argentina at the World Cup in USA
- Lionel Messi will go on vacation before joining up with his new Inter Miami team
- It is unclear when his first game will be, but it could fall near the end of July
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Lionel Messi has given a further signal that he will start life in Major League Soccer in mid-to-late July with Inter Miami – but had some bad news for fans hoping to see him play a World Cup on American soil.
He produced another electrifying performance for Argentina against Australia on Thursday, scoring the fastest goal of his career with a sublime strike after just 79 seconds in the 2-0 friendly win in China.
The 35-year-old Messi played the full 90 minutes and speaking after the game, outlined his plans for a vacation after international duty before then heading to start a new life in the United States.
He will now leave the Argentina camp for some time away from soccer instead of competing in the team’s next game, against Indonesia, and is expected to return home to Argentina.
When asked about his Miami schedule, Messi said after the game: ‘I want to on my holiday and then afterwards, we go again.’
Lionel Messi scored after just 79 seconds for Argentina against Australia on Thursday
The game was in China and there was a huge amount of excitement over Messi’s presence
After the game, Messi hinted he will likely make his Inter Miami towards the end of July
Messi will likely have at least three weeks off to recover from the European club soccer season that started last August and was put on hold for a month from mid November due to the World Cup in Qatar, which he won with Argentina.
It would mean he is likely to play his first game around mid-to-late July. Miami play away against St Louis on July 15, while the MLS All-Star game is on July 19 against Arsenal at DC United’s Audi Field.
He was also quizzed about the likelihood of leading Argentina’s World Cup title defense at the next tournament in 2026, which will be co-hosted by his new home country in the United States, with Mexico and Canada.
But the Barcelona and PSG star appeared doubtful on the prospects of still playing on the international stage.
‘It is difficult for it to happen,’ Messi, who will be 39 when the next tournament arrives, explained.
‘What I said (about Qatar 2022 likely being his last World Cup) is something normal due to age and time.
‘Qualifying matches are coming, then the Copa America, it is very far to think about the World Cup.
‘You have to enjoy the present, think about what’s to come, despite the wins – we can’t stay with that.’