Messi doesn’t practice for Inter Miami Wednesday, but players, fans still feeling the buzz

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Inter Miami CF’s soccer practice was a bit different Wednesday morning after international soccer superstar Lionel Messi arrived at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport with his family on Tuesday.

Messi didn’t make an appearance at Wednesday’s practice, but the players told Local 10 News they have acknowledged the changes since his arrival.

“I think it’s the first time they have a lot of media here, so in shock a little bit, but it’s a big day,” said Inter Miami striker Josef Martinez.

Fans were also primed and ready to welcome Messi, who most recently led Argentina to a World Cup title in 2022.

Inter Miami is set to officially introduce Messi in a ceremony at DRV PNK Stadium on Sunday night that season ticket holders will be able to attend.

Messi’s teammates told Local 10 News that they are excited about his arrival but are trying to remain focused on winning games.

“Definitely a first for me with media around, security, and staying focused on what we’re in control of. It’s very exciting,” said Inter Miami defender Drake Callender

Messi’s first game with Inter Miami is slated for July 21, and tickets are not cheap.

On SeatGeek, seats behind the goal were running for $300 and midfield seats were listed for upwards of $500 as of Wednesday afternoon.

Demand is so high that new seating is being added at the stadium to accommodate the thousands of fans.

Local 10 News digital journalist David Dwork contributed to this story.

About the Authors:

Annaliese Garcia joined Local 10 News in January 2020. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism. She began her career at Univision. Before arriving at Local 10, she was with NBC2 (WBBH-TV) covering Southwest Florida. She's glad to be back in Miami!

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.