Lionel Messi Returns as Inter Miami Draws 1-1 with Newell’s Old Boys in Sentimental Friendly

By Milcah Tanimu

Inter Miami’s star player Lionel Messi made a poignant comeback to the field in a friendly match against his childhood club, Newell’s Old Boys, resulting in a 1-1 draw.

The match held emotional significance for Messi, who had supported Newell’s Old Boys in his youth and played for the team from 1995 to 2000 before joining Barcelona. Despite being substituted in the 60th minute, Messi’s presence delighted home fans and impressed Inter Miami coach Gerardo Martino with his performance.

Martino revealed that Messi’s substitution was pre-planned, aiming to manage his playing time effectively as he continues his recovery from a groin injury that sidelined him for a previous friendly in Hong Kong. Despite the injury setback, Messi appeared in good form during the match, signaling his readiness for the upcoming MLS season.

Inter Miami took the lead in the second half through Shanyder Borgelin’s header off a corner kick from Robert Taylor, but Newell’s Old Boys equalized with Franco Martin Diaz’s goal in the 83rd minute.

The match also showcased other Argentine talent on Inter Miami’s roster, highlighting the strong presence of Argentine football in the MLS.

Looking ahead, Inter Miami will open their MLS campaign against Real Salt Lake, with Martino expressing optimism despite the team’s challenges during the pre-season. He emphasized the importance of arriving in good form for the start of the competition, reflecting high expectations for the upcoming season, particularly with Messi’s full integration into the squad.


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