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What does Inter Miami aspire to with Messi and its stars in the MLS?

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What does Inter Miami aspire to with Messi and its stars in the MLS?
  • Carlos Nava, ESPN Digital Writer Feb. 21, 2024, 7:37 a.m. ET

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      • Founder of the sports area at the newspapers Siglo 21 in Guadalajara, and Frontera, in Tijuana/San Diego, he also worked at Al Día/The Dallas Morning News in Dallas. • Covers the Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks, FC Dallas and the rest of the region.

Messi and company’s Inter Miami kicks off the 2024 MLS season, becoming the great candidate for the title. You’ll make it?

He Inter Miami CF recognizes that only the championship from MLS for them.

The team that was hopeless at the bottom of the league standings last year, when they arrived Lionel MessiSergio Busquets and Jordi Alba to lift him up as has rarely been seen in a professional soccer league, now he is forced to win everything, absolutely everything.

Suárez and Messi meet again in Miami Rich Storry/Getty Images

And of course it is the favoriteif you consider that it is now corrected and increased with the hiring of Luis Suárez and the arrival of Federico Redondo, in addition to the fact that they had the most exhausting preseason in memory of the MLS.

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Inter Miami hosts Real Salt Lake this Wednesday in the opening match of the 2024 MLS season with full teams.

“The expectations are obvious there when you have the best player in the world on your team,” Inter Miami player Julian Gressel, recently arrived from the champion Columbus Crew to further strengthen Inter, told the press. “We are excited to be on this journey. We have to accept that we are the favorites and learn to deal with this. Let’s hope to start well from the beginning.”

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Inter Miami has to start its season quickly to prevent the pressure from starting to overflow, after last summer Messi and his friends led the first coronation in the history of the young franchise that arrived in the league in 2020.

They were champions of the Leagues Cup, the tournament they swept almost from start to finish. Shortly after, they were in the final of the US Open Cup, and they were close to advancing to the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, where no one knows what could have happened if they qualified with the pace they had maintained for almost two months.

Now there is even more optimism, considering that Gerardo “Tata” Martino and his former Barcelona players have been together since the preseason to start the tournament this Wednesday in their renamed Chase Stadium.

And that has also been noticed among bettors.

“Messi and Miami are going to take a lot of bets,” BetMGM commercial manager Seamus Magee told ESPN via email. “We don’t try to book based on what we need, we are guided by what our best bettors tell us.” The pressure began since on their preseason tour of El Salvador, Dallas, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Hong Kong they only won one of six games. And last Thursday they closed at home with a draw against Newell’s Old Boys.

“We are not going to win every game,” Martino said. “There are many teams that have improved their squads and are coming off very good seasons, not only (champion) Columbus, which was brilliant. Also others. We didn’t even qualify for the playoffs.

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“Certainly, we understand that with this squad we can do great things, but we do not consider ourselves invincible either,” he added. “We must keep our feet on the ground.”

Jordi Alba agreed that it will be a long, intense year with too many games to play between MLS, Leagues Cup and Concachampions.

“Yes, there are a lot of names of players on this team, but that doesn’t mean anything,” Alba told the Miami press. “We have to show it on the field. I hope we can win all the titles, but it won’t be easy.”

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