Atlanta United will host Inter Miami on September 16. While normally this wouldn’t be of much concern, things have drastically changed with the arrival of Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba. The club have announced that the originally scheduled start time for this match of 7:30 p.m. has been pushed up to 5:00 p.m.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who possess a ticket to a Messi away match, something that is becoming as valuable as gold, take note of the change.
The question now becomes will Messi play, and if so, how much will he play? One of the big narratives surrounding the potential of the greatest soccer player of all-time stepping on the field in Atlanta is if he’ll play on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium turf or not. I have to believe in my heart of hearts that the competitor in Messi doesn’t care one bit about turf and will not shy away from playing on it.
However, there’s a bigger obstacle in the way of Messi playing significant minutes in this possible Atlanta debut opportunity. That’s the fact that Argentina play the second of two World Cup qualifiers just four days prior to the match. Not only that, but it’s an away match in La Paz, Bolivia at 11,893 feet above sea level.
Of course, if you’re reading this blog, you care more about Atlanta United. However, if you’re a soccer fan, it’s hard not to want to catch a glimpse of a true icon of the sport. While there should be other opportunities for Messi to play in Atlanta, this one could only result in a cameo appearance depending on how international duty plays out.