Lionel Messi is all smiles as he steps out onto the training ground with Inter Miami for the first time… ahead of his highly anticipated debut on Friday night.
- Lionel Messi has started training with Inter Miami after being presented on Sunday
- He came out and seemed in high spirits, chatting with his new teammates.
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Lionel Messi stepped onto the training ground for the first time as an Inter Miami player and joined his teammates early Tuesday morning.
The Argentinian superstar was officially introduced at a grand ceremony on Sunday night and the hard work now begins ahead of his highly anticipated debut on Friday.
Messi was photographed alongside his new signing and Barcelona legend Sergio Busquets, as well as the rest of the team at the team’s base in Fort Lauderdale.
Messi seemed in high spirits, chatting and laughing with Josef Martinez as the players jogged around a bit at the start of the session.
Inter Miami have endured a terrible season so far and are desperately hoping that the injection of Messi and Busquets into the team can revive their fortunes.
Lionel Messi smiles during his first training session with Inter Miami in Fort Lauderdale
The Argentinian superstar participates in a passing drill at the Florida Blue Training Center
Messi chats with his new teammate and Inter Miami striker Josef Martínez during the session
Messi gives a thumbs up during his first session as an Inter Miami player on Tuesday morning
Fans are eagerly awaiting the best player in the world to take the field against Cruz Azul on Friday.
Fellow new signing Sergio Busquets (centre) was also put to the test by the coaches.
Off the pitch, Messi jersey sales are already through the roof and Inter Miami is expected to sell out the rest of its games with ease this season.
Messi’s first appearance in his new team’s pink is anticipated to come on Friday night in Major League Soccer’s new League Cup competition.
Tata Martino’s team take on Cruz Azul at their DRV PNK stadium, with a ticket priced at a whopping $110,000 as fans clamor for their chance to see the GOAT in action.
All eyes have been on the World Cup winner since he touched down in the United States, even taking a trip to PUBLIX with his family to stock up on groceries.
Speaking after Messi’s introduction, the player’s wife Antonela thanked Inter Miami for their impressive welcome while taking to Instagram.
How beautiful the affection with which they received you, Leo Messi! Always by your side!’
He then tagged Inter Miami in the post with three flexed bicep emojis and also shared a heartwarming video of his three sons, Mateo, Ciro and Thiago, wearing Miami jerseys chanting the team’s name.
Roccuzzo was personally received by Miami co-owner David Beckham during Sunday’s ceremony and delivered a speech referencing Messi’s family at the opening.
Miami’s DRV PNK Stadium was packed with 20,000 fans ready to welcome Messi to their team, and a torrential downpour that delayed the opening didn’t dampen the excitement.
The whole team seemed rejuvenated with the arrival of Barcelona legends Messi and Busquets.
Messi laughs as the coaches address the team during the training session at Florida Blue
Messi, 36, finally took the field and spoke to fans for the first time as a Miami player, with Antonella and her children watching from the stands.
The Messi family owns a home in Miami and their fondness for the area is believed to have contributed to their decision to move to the US, although a more lucrative offer came from Saudi Arabia.
Adidas and Apple TV are contributing to the $60 million a year that Messi is expected to earn playing in Major League Soccer.
Adidas will pay him a portion of the Inter jerseys they sell with his name on the back, while Apple will do the same for MLS subscriptions following Messi’s move to the United States.