Messi (36), once again named the best football player in the world ten days ago in Paris, was celebrated by his club and its fans on the sidelines of a friendly match against New York City FC. Before the match, he walked to the center of the pitch at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale (Florida), Ballon d'Or in hand, lit only by fans' cell phones.
“For me it’s wonderful to be able to share it with you. I want to thank everyone in Miami, not just those here tonight, for welcoming me and my family. You show me love, and make me feel at home. It’s a city populated by many Latinos where I feel comfortable,” he said, responding to the “Messi, Messi, Messi” who came down from the almost full stands. “We have been together for a short time but have already accomplished great things, including the first title in the history of the club,” added the 2022 world champion with Argentina, who left Paris Saint-Germain for Miami in July and won the Leagues Cup in August (tournament bringing together teams from MLS and Mexico).
“I have no doubt that next season will be even better, we will continue to have fun and win titles.” Inter Miami, only 14th in the Eastern Conference in the regular season of the North American Championship (MLS), is not participating in the play-offs currently being played. Messi, who has missed most of his team's recent league matches, is due to play two matches with Argentina on November 16 and 21, against Uruguay and then Brazil, for 2026 World Cup qualifying.