Lionel Messi: 5 key dates for Inter Miami, Argentina star in 2024


There’s a reason why Inter Miami CF’s 2024 season is the most anticipated in Major League Soccer history.

With Lionel Messi highlighting a star-studded lineup alongside Big Four partners Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, the Herons are expected to fill up stadiums across the league and evoke memories of the legendary quartet’s tiki-taka glory days at FC Barcelona – all while competing for multiple trophies.

Messi already led Miami to Leagues Cup glory last season. Is more silverware on the way in 2024? Here are five dates (with a few honorable mentions) to circle around the Argentine No. 10’s calendar.

MLS is Back - Feb. 21

Preseason came and went. Now come the games that matter, starting with Wednesday’s standalone 2024 MLS regular-season opener vs. Real Salt Lake (8 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).

Chase Stadium will be rocking as the Herons put their high-profile lineup to the first of many tests.

Copa América Final - July 14

It’s the dream scenario for every Argentina fan: Messi lifting yet another trophy with his beloved national team – in front of a “hometown” crowd, no less.

The highly-favored Albiceleste, reigning Copa América and World Cup champs, could very well go all the way at 2024 Copa América with Messi pulling the strings. And if they do, it’ll happen at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium – the site of the July 14 final.

Leagues Cup Final - Aug. 25

Messi’s magical first half-season in Miami largely revolved around his inspired Leagues Cup 2023 play, leading the club to their first-ever trophy during a sensational title run.

This year, they’ll have to navigate past two Liga MX opponents – Tigres UANL and Puebla – in the group stage to reach the knockout rounds. Will the Herons stand on the champion's podium once again come the Aug. 25 final?

Decision Day - Oct. 19

Miami host the New England Revolution (6 pm ET | MLS Season Pass) in their final game of the regular season, complete with Audi MLS Cup Playoffs implications and more on the line.

Lest there be any doubts, head coach Gerardo Martino insists the Herons “at the very least” must make the postseason this year.

MLS Cup 2024 presented by Audi - Dec 7

Some would go a step further than Tata and say the Herons at the very least need to make MLS Cup presented by Audi, if not win it altogether.

Remember the date: Dec. 7, 2024 could be one more for Messi, Inter Miami and the history books.

Honorable Mentions

Concacaf Champions Cup Final - June 2

Martino went on record last week saying Concacaf Champions Cup could be the most important tournament Miami play in 2024. The champion qualifies for the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup, a competition Messi has won on three occasions.

The Herons have a Round One bye and will face either Nashville SC or Moca FC (Dominican Republic) in the Round of 16, starting March 7. The CCC final is set for June 2.

Men’s Soccer Gold Medal Match, 2024 Paris Olympic Games - Aug. 9

Argentina U-23 head coach Javier Mascherano recently fueled speculation about Messi possibly representing his country at the Olympics, saying the “door is open” for his former Barcelona and Albiceleste teammate to join the squad in France.

Messi, an Olympic champion at Beijing 2008, could theoretically play for another gold medal on Aug. 9.

Ballon d’Or Award ceremony - Date TBD

The GOAT made it a world-record eight Ballon d’Or trophies after last year’s capture of the consensus top individual prize in global soccer.

An unprecedented ninth Ballon d’Or can’t be ruled out should Messi win some of the trophies listed above between now and this year’s award ceremony.