Lionel Messi’s decision to join Inter Miami and play in the MLS sent shockwaves across the internet. The fans are thrilled to see the Argentine legend in action on American soil. It won’t be easy for Messi and his fresh teammates to qualify for the postseason in his debut year in the States.
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Lionel Messi’s Debut Dates Confirmed
The football star Messi will soon arrive in Miami, where he will debut with his new team on July 21. They will face Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup tournament. His first MLS match will be on August 20, in front of his home crowd at DRV PNK Stadium, against Charlotte.
They will have to face many challenges to qualify for the postseason games.
Inter Miami’s Dire Situation
Right now, that seems like a distant dream, as Inter Miami is at the bottom of the MLS Western Conference. The team, which will be led by Gerardo Martino, has only 16 points from 19 games and has three more games before Messi arrives and a break for the Leagues Cup.
Lionel Messi’s 12-Game Challenge
Cincinnati tops the table with 44 points, while Orlando City, the last team with a direct spot in the playoffs, has 31 points.
Both Montreal and DC United have 26 points and are in the eighth and ninth spots, which would qualify them for the extra round of the playoffs.
So, depending on what Inter Miami can do in the next three games, still without Messi, the former Barcelona and PSG star will have 12 games to help the club reach the playoffs along with Sergio Busquets, another of the new signings, and Tata Martino.
From August 20 to October 21, Messi and Inter Miami will play 12 games, which means 36 points are up for grabs. And while Messi won’t be able to win them all by himself, he will certainly be a huge boost for their playoff hopes.
The team needs 15 more points to reach the playoff positions and 10 more points to get into the extra round, so it looks hard, but not impossible.
Messi’s Key Opponents and Allies
Messi and his colleagues will face some tough opponents, such as Cincinnati and Nashville, who are currently topping the Western Conference, but they also have six games against teams that are in a similar position, for now outside the playoffs.