Messi to face boyhood club Newell's in friendly

AFP , Tuesday 19 Dec 2023

Lionel Messi is expected to line-up against his boyhood club Newell's Old Boys after the Argentine team agreed to a pre-season friendly game at Inter Miami in February.

Inter Miami will play a February friendly against Newell s Old Boys a club with strong connections to their coach Gerardo Martino and star player Lionel Messi. (AFP)

The Major League Soccer club announced on Monday that they would host Newell's at their DRV PNK Stadium on February 15.

Newell's are based in the city of Rosario where Messi was born and grew up, playing for their youth team before moving to Spanish club Barcelona aged 13.

Inter coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino also hails from the city and played for the club in three spells before returning as the team's coach in 2012.

"I am delighted to welcome my beloved Newell’s to our home here in Miami. It will be a special match due to everything Newell’s Old Boys means to me," Martino said.

"It will also be a good opportunity to prepare for what will surely be an exciting season," he added.

The fixture is the latest in a busy pre-season schedule for Miami who will kick-off the preparations by facing the El Salvador national team in San Salvador on January 19.

The club will then play two games in Saudi Arabia, including against Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr, before games in Hong Kong and Tokyo.

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