Messi’s Miami to face El Salvador national team

Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami will face the El Salvador national team in a friendly match on January 19, the Major League Soccer club said on Thursday.

The match will be the opening pre-season game for Miami ahead of the 2024 season and will be played at the 45,000 capacity Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador.

“We’re excited to start announcing our pre-season plans and preparations ahead of a thrilling 2024 campaign. We look forward to facing the El Salvador national team in what will be a good first test for our squad against the best players from the country,” said Miami’s Sporting Director Chris Henderson.

The game will give Inter some experience of Central American conditions ahead of their debut in the CONCACAF Champions Cup next season.

Miami qualified for the regional tournament thanks to their triumph in the Leagues Cup — their first trophy won thanks to the impact of Messi and his former Barcelona teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.

El Salvador are ranked 78th in the world and eighth in the CONCACAF region.

Inter Miami, which did not qualify for the MLS playoffs, were due to play two friendlies in China this month but the mini-tour was called off.

Last month, the 36-year-old Messi was awarded his eighth Ballon d’Or trophy in Paris on Monday, further boosting his lead over Cristiano Ronaldo — who has five — for the most in history. BSS

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