Adorable moment Lionel Messi waves and kisses excited game mascots before they chant his name in the tunnel ahead of Inter Miami’s MLS clash against New York Red Bulls
- Lionel Messi made his MLS debut coming off the bench against the New York Red Bulls
- The Argentinian superstar was greeted by excited mascots in the tunnel
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Lionel Messi made New York Red Bulls mascot day by scoring each one ahead of Inter Miami’s return to MLS on Saturday night.
Messi made his highly anticipated MLS debut in Inter Miami’s league clash against the New York Red Bulls following the Herons’ recent cup success.
And despite representing his rival, the mascots couldn’t contain their excitement as they met the World Cup winner.
As the Argentine superstar exited the tunnel at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, he walked through the line of youngsters stopping to give everyone a high five.
But whoever was at the end of the line was not content with a high five and couldn’t resist when he launched himself at the 36-year-old star, giving him a huge hug. Messi, visibly unfazed by the embrace, hugged the mascot back.
Lionel Messi was greeted by excited mascots in the tunnel ahead of the Inter Miami game
The Argentine superstar was heading to the pitch ahead of his MLS debut against the Red Bulls.
In another clip shared on social media, the mascots were also seen huddled inside the stadium, chanting the striker’s name.
The disgruntled New Jersey crowd also began chanting the global icon’s name as he was left on the bench for the start of the MLS clash.
Inter boss Tata Martino hinted on Friday that his star man could be rested this weekend after starting eight games in the space of six weeks since joining the club.
Speaking after their midweek victory over Cincinnati in the US Open Cup semi-finals, Martino said: “Leo and many other players are reaching an important physical limit and from today we will start to assess this: how can I face at least the next three games.”
“You also have to take into account the large number of games we have played in 45, 50 days.”
And Martino ultimately made the decision to rest the 36-year-old for part of the New Jersey clash.
Messi made his MLS debut coming off the bench in the 60th minute of the New Jersey clash.
Messi’s former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets also started Saturday night’s game on the bench.
After a remarkable first month on American soil, Messi was due to make his MLS debut at the Red Bull Arena.
It sparked a frenzy on ticket resale sites, with fans whipping their way to the game until $23,528 – including taxes.
But fans were finally rewarded for shelling out hundreds and thousands of dollars when Messi made his MLS debut on the bench in the 60th minute.