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When Lionel Messi’s first match of 2024 will bePhoto by Megan Briggs/Getty Images When Lionel Messi’s first match of 2024 will be

Lionel Messi is finally back on the field for Inter Miami.

The Herons ended last season on the back foot, failing to qualify for the postseason despite its high-profile summer acquisitions.                                                                                            

Although Messi managed to lead Miami to its first trophy ever in club history, fatigue, national team duty, and injuries plagued the men in pink’s season.

As 2024 approaches, expect the South Florida side to significantly improve.

The team has already added the likes of striker Luis Suarez, and based on reports from Argentina, Miami could add another central midfielder to its ranks.

Though there’s still quite a way before the Major League Soccer season starts, that won’t stop the Fort Lauderdale-based team from placing high expectations on itself.

Messi’s first match of 2024

  Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to Inter Miami Sporting Director Chris Henderson, Miami will evaluate every position within the organization.

“We’re evaluating every department in our front office and performance staff, to support [Tata Martino] and his staff and all the players to make sure we’re performing everywhere in the club,” Henderson said.

“We’re looking at everything to [improve the squad.] We have high hopes for 2024, and we want to show what we can do as a club.”

Some of those improvements may come in the form of an MLS Cup-winning wing back.

Via The Miami Herald, the club has been in talks with defender/midfielder Julian Gressel.

Gressel, 30, has enjoyed success in the league, winning two MLS Cups from 2018 to 2023. Though a deal has yet to be reached, The Athletic states that Miami is the front-runner for his services.

Whenever the agreement goes through, many hope that Gressel will join the squad in time to team up with Messi in preseason.

Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With or without Gressel, Messi’s first match for Inter Miami in 2024 will be on January 19th against the El Salvador National Team at the Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Though, it’s not common for a club side to play against a national team, for Miami, it’s a great opportunity. Playing in Central America will help them prepare for the CONCACAF Champions Cup, which starts in March.

Ultimately, this will be the first match that Messi will play in this year. After a month gone from the field, it’s only a matter of time before the World Cup winner takes the pitch once more.