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Inter Miami 1-1 Newell’s Old Boys: Messi’s Sensational Reunion with His Childhood Club Ends a Draw

Inter Miami 1-1 Newell’s Old Boys: Messi’s Sensational Reunion with His Childhood Club Ends a Draw

Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami CF, led by their megastar and seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, concluded their 2024 Preseason with a much-anticipated showdown against Newell’s Old Boys, an outfit playing in the Argentine Primera División, and more importantly, a club the 2022 FIFA World Cup-winning skipper Messi used to play at during his childhood days. La Pulga was reintegrated into Inter Miami CF’s final preseason game ahead of their 2024 MLS Season in this Newell’s Old Boys friendly, and the game would end a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes plus added time, with both goals scored in the second 45 minutes of the match.


A Reunion Between Newell’s Old Boys and Messi, as Well as Tata Martino

The friendly between Inter Miami CF and Newell’s Old Boys gave significance to Messi, who spent six years at the club’s academy from 1995 to 2000. The 36-year-old ex-Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain man is also a lifelong supported of his hometown club of Newell’s Old Boys, which is why he decided to join them at six, and even at that young age, Messi contributed almost an astonishing five centuries of goals being a member of “The Machine of ’87”, a nickname given to a near-invincible youth side due to the birth year of the players. La Pulga went on to join the famous Barcelona youth academy, La Masia, in the same year he left Newell’s Old Boys.

Apart from Messi, another icon present in the Newell’s Old Boys clash was current Inter Miami CF manager Gerardo Martino, who played and managed Newell’s Old Boys at multiple stints during his playing and managerial careers. Also known as Tata Martino, the Rosario-born Argentine won a hattrick of league titles at Argentine Primera División with the identity of a Newell’s Old Boys player, before managing the club to the Primera División Superfinal back in the 2012/2023 Season. It is also worth mentioning that Maxi Rodríguez, former attacker at Atlético Madrid and Liverpool, was also presented during a pre-match ceremony of the Inter Miami-Newell’s Old Boys game.

Check This Out: UCL Last 16 First Leg: Two Second-Half Goals Give PSG Triumph Against Real Sociedad


La Pulga Played an Hour Against Childhood Side Newell’s Old Boys

The reunion between Messi, Martino and Newell’s Old Boys was a tightly-contested affair, with the home team having the possession of 58% against their visitors’ 42%, while Newell’s Old Boys had 16 shots in the game as compared to Inter Miami’s CF’s 13.

Both teams played out a goalless first 45 minutes, before the game finally saw the breakthrough moments after the hour mark. The 36-year-old Messi was substituted by Lawson Sunderland at the 60th minute, and not long after the replacement took place, Inter Miami CF drew first blood, courtesy of Shanyder Borgelin. The Haiti national team player rose to the highest when another substitute Robert Taylor delivered a corner set piece delivery from the left flank, and the header beat Lucas Hoyos at the bottom left corner for the opening goal of the game.

When it looked to be Inter Miami CF winning for the second time in their preseason campaign, Newell’s Old Boys spoilt the home team’s party late in the game with an equaliser. Sunderland, who came onto the pitch as Messi’s replacement, played a loose pass to Ryan Sailor, allowing Newell’s Old Boys’ Franco Martín Díaz to intercept the ball. The 23-year-old managed to charge into the penalty box and maintain his cool, followed by a shot to the far post that went through the home team’s shot stopper Drake Callender. Sunderland’s mistake proved costly as Díaz’s equaliser kept things all square until the final whistle of this Inter Miami CF-Newell’s Old Boys clash.

You May Also Like: Riyadh Season Cup 2024: Al-Hilal Shock Messi’s Inter Miami with a 4-3 Victory in the Opener


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Inter Miami’s 2024 Preseason Concluded Following Home Stalemate Against Newell’s Old Boys

Following the conclusion of the 2023 Major League Soccer Season, Inter Miami CF played a total of eight matches in their preseason arrangements, including New York City FC, El Salvador, FC Dallas, Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr, Hong Kong XI, Vissel Kobe and Newell’s Old Boys. With their final match of the 2024 Preseason schedule ending a 1-1 stalemate against Newell’s Old Boys, Messi’s Inter Miami only managed to win one of their eight preseason games, losing the other five and drawing twice as a result.

The end of Inter Miami CF’s preseason games will see them welcoming the new MLS season less than a week from now, where they will be hosting Real Salt Lake at DRV PNK Stadium for the campaign opener, followed by an away trip to Dignity Health Sports Park against LA Galaxy, a club that Inter Miami’s co-owner and former Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain star David Beckham used to play during his professional senior career.

One controversy in Inter Miami CF’s 2024 Preseason schedule was the friendly game against Hong Kong XI at Hong Kong Stadium, where the Major League Soccer side emerged victorious via a 4-1 score line. Spectators were seen unsatisfied with the game since they were expecting to see Messi on the pitch, but a series of misunderstanding surrounding the Argentine’s injury saw him unable to play the match, leaving fans to call for a refund due to the effort they spent to watch arguably the greatest footballer to play before their eyes. La Pulga, however, stated that he wanted to play in the Hong Kong XI match in a conference, and you can find the details of his statement here.

Steven Mosier

"Eat, breathe and sleep sports" is the life motto of mine. My professional athlete career ended way earlier than I thought, but the passion remains till the present, which is why I am here writing you all the sports news you crave! Also, I am a huge fan of the Premier League as well the NBA.

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