Lionel Messi arrived in style at Inter Miami. The Argentinian star needed just over half an hour on the pitch to start making a difference for the Aermaic side as his free-kick earned them a last-minute win over Cruz Azul in their League Cup opener.
In that match, the 36-year-old played just 36 minutes, but coach Tata Martino has already confirmed that his role will soon increase. The Argentine confirmed that Messi and Sergio Busquets will play more in the next match.
“It is very likely that Leo and Busi will play more minutes, even from the beginning,” declared Martino. “We all know when Leo starts he always plays the full 90 minutes, so it all depends on how he feels.”
Messi’s influence, according to Martino, has not been slow to be reflected in the dressing room.
“In the first minutes we looked like a beginner team, but after Leo and Busi entered the field, the players thought that those who came would protect them and this is good because they are growing alongside him and feel a very important support”, he emphasized, before suggesting that Messi “will be the captain of the team”.
Despite the euphoria after the latest victory, Martino warned of the dangers of their next opponents, Atlanta United, who have World Cup winner Thiago Almada in their ranks.
“Atlanta is very well trained,” he added. “Gonzalo’s time at the helm is important and they have an incredible player like Thiago to look up to.”