Lionel Messi practices for 1st time since signing with Inter Miami

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Lionel Messi era is officially underway in South Florida.

The 2022 World Cup winner and seven-time Ballon d’Or recipient as the world’s best player took part in a training session with Inter Miami CF for the first time on Tuesday morning.

It comes three days after he signed a 2 1/2-year contract that’ll pay him between $50 million and $60 million per season.

Sky 10 flew over DRV PNK Stadium Tuesday morning as drones buzzed around the field and about 200 media members lined up toward the back of the complex to get a look at the international soccer superstar.

Like newly signed Sergio Busquets, also a World Cup winner, Messi went through a welcome tunnel as part of the first practice, which meant jogging past teammates as they lined up and clapped.

Inter Miami Co-Owner David Beckham said at a press conference, “It doesn’t matter who you are and how good you are, you need time to adapt to the surface to your teammates.”

Local 10 spoke with fans who said Messi is more than soccer, relating to him on a more personal level.

“The way he’s with his family, he’s very humble. He’s a dad and a father figure,” said one Messi fan.

Messi’s first match with his new club is expected to be Friday, a Leagues Cup contest at home against Cruz Azul.

According to Stubhub, the cheapest tickets are going for as little as $270 with the highest-priced ticket exceeding $19,000 as of Tuesday morning.

Ticket prices have been fluctuating quite a bit and likely will continue doing so until game time.

About the Authors:

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

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.