- Earlier this year, Messi and Argentina played Australia in China for a friendly
- Messi has plans to take all of December off to recover from a long 2023
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
As if Lionel Messi hasn’t played enough games this year, the end of this MLS season will not mean he gets to have any kind of a break.
According to multiple reports (via the Miami Herald), Inter Miami is talking with promoters overseas to play friendlies in Asia.
In particular, a pair of matches set to be staged in China and Japan are being talked about but no details have been finalized, a source within the team told the Herald’s Michelle Kaufman.
No opponents, dates, or venues have been agreed upon just yet.
Training camp for Inter Miami begins in January of 2024, so it was expected that the team would take a foreign tour.
Inter Miami is working on planning two post-season fixtures in China and Japan
Lionel Messi has a large following in that region of the world, playing there earlier this year
But exact details are skimpy at best. One Chinese media personality says that the team will play against Chengdu Qbao FC – a team in the Chinese second division.
Another report from TyC Sports says that Inter Miami will depart on November 2 for ‘friendlies against China and Japan’.
A Saudi Arabian newspaper is also suggesting that a Chinese marketing firm is proposing a friendly between Messi’s Inter Miami and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr at some point.
So far, the only kind of friendly match that has been confirmed is a preseason 2024 friendly in Miami against Newell’s Old Boys – Messi’s boyhood club and the team Inter Miami manager Tata Martino got his start at.
Messi has a massive following in Asia and has many business partners in that part of the world – as does Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham.
These matches follow a similar path that David Beckham’s LA Galaxy took back when he joined
In the summer, Messi and Argentina played a friendly match against Australia at the Worker’s Stadium in Beijing.
These plans are similar to those taken up by LA Galaxy when Beckham joined the team in 2007.
They played an Asian-Pacific Tour with Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia, then followed that up with more matches in South Korea and China.
2023 has been a long year for Messi. After winning the World Cup in December, he finished out the rest of his season with PSG before playing with Inter Miami for almost half of their campaign.
He plans to take the entire month of December off in order to recover.