After lots of rumors and speculation, Inter Miami and Lionel Messi are finally set for their first-ever international tour against the Hong Kong Team in February 2024.
The move comes after Miami already had one trip planned to China in November against the Chinese Super League's Chengdu Rongcheng and Qingdao Hainiu, but plans were scrapped due to "unforeseen circumstances'.
But wait, there's more. The Herons were strongly linked with a friendly against Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr and Cristiano Ronaldo, which would pit two of the greatest players ever against each other for 'one last dance'. However, 90min reported that the two sides would not be playing after all.
"We're very excited to be visiting Hong Kong and indeed Asia for the very first time," said managing owner Jorge Mas. "From the very beginning we set out to be a global club at Inter Miami. This is a wonderful opportunity to do just that; we hope to enthuse and inspire new Inter Miami fans in Hong Kong and across Asia who share our passion for futbol."
Come February 4, Messi, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez will all take part in the friendly against the best players from the Hong Kong First Division League at Hong Kong Stadium.
"Hong Kong is a beautiful city with a great sports scene,” added co-owner David Beckham in a release. "Throughout my career, I have spent a lot of time in Asia - I am so pleased to have the opportunity to bring Inter Miami to play our first international tour match in this fantastic city."
After the Herons finished near the bottom of the Eastern Conference table in 2022 despite lifting Leagues Cup, there will be heightened expectations for the south Florida side with head coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino in year two. Not only will Miami be competing for MLS Cup and US Open Cup glory, but they'll also embark on their first-ever journey in the revamped Concacaf Champions Cup.
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