Martino Confirms: Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets to Debut Against Cruz Azul

So, I guess paying $50K for a ticket to Friday’s game may not be that bad after all as Inter Miami manager Tata Martino said both Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets will play.

Lionel Messi trains with Inter Miami ahead of Friday's Leagues Cup clash with Cruz Azul.
Lionel Messi trains with Inter Miami ahead of Friday's Leagues Cup clash with Cruz Azul. / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Earlier, I mentioned that paying more than $50,000 for a ticket to Inter Miami’s Leagues Cup clash with Cruz Azul on July 21 was a fool's errand.

I may stand corrected.

I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong.

Let me tell you why.

Tata Says Messi and Busquets Will Play

Inter Miami manager Tata Martino said that, despite only starting to practice with the team on Tuesday, both Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi will not only be available but will play on Friday against Cruz Azul.

Initially, Herons’ co-owner David Beckham threw a small bucket of water on the prospect of Messi playing, saying it was really up to Messi and Martino.

It seems something was decided as Martino told ESPN Futbol 12 in Argentina that he expects both Busquets and Messi to debut on Friday.

"From what I’ve seen up to now they are going fit to play and it is likely that on Friday they can be there. Whether that will be as starters or coming at the half, we will have to make that decision yet, but as I see it, Leo as well as Busi can play [on Friday]."

Inter Miami manager Tata Martino to ESPN

Martino added that he believes Messi’s desire to be successful means he won’t hold back and try to rest after a full season of play for Paris-St. Germain and a vacation… all before the massive introduction to Inter Miami fans on Sunday.

I’ve mentioned that it was possible for both Messi and Busquets to at least play on Friday, but I never thought there was a prospect of either of them starting.

So, I may have been wrong, but only time will tell.

Inter Miami’s Leagues Cup Roster Issue

Earlier Wednesday, reporters started tweeting out the released roster for Inter Miami and the Leagues Cup.

On it was listed Busquets and Messi, of course. But Jordi Alba was also included on the roster despite no official signing of the former Barcelona defenseman.

Then, a few hours later, there were reports that the Leagues Cup roster for the Herons had been pulled without any explanation.

Perhaps because Alba had not been announced or that Diego Gomez was not listed on the team sheet.

So far all we do know is that Messi and Busquets will be available and the Herons have four goalkeepers on the team sheet.

Heron Takes: Take that Inter Milan

Today became a milestone for Inter Miami.

It was the day that Inter Miami’s Instagram account surpassed 10 million followers and also surpassed Inter Milan for number of followers.

According to some, the Herons became the fastest North American sports team to reach 10 million followers on Instagram.

I wonder if the other Inter wants to sue over that too?

Even public transportation in Miami is succumbing to Messi fever:

You know it's big time when the city is decorating small trolleys with Messi’s likeness.