Messi set to make Inter Miami debut against Mexican Cruz Azul

(CNN) — Lionel Messi is set to make his Major League Soccer (MLS) debut for Inter Miami on July 21, club owner-manager Jorge Mas told a small group of reporters on Monday, according to the Miami Herald newspaper.

Inter Miami takes on Mexico’s Cruz Azul in a League Cup opener that day at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

CNN has reached out to representatives for Inter Miami and Messi for comment.

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According to the Miami Herald, Mas said Inter Miami and seven-time world’s best player Messi have reached an agreement, but they are still finalizing the details.

Messi previously announced that he would play for the MLS club.

“I made the decision to go to Miami,” Messi told Spanish media SPORT and Mundo Deportivo earlier this month. “I still haven’t closed it 100%. I’m missing some things but we decided to continue the journey there.”

Mas also told reporters that signing Messi represents “the pinnacle moment” in the history of football in the United States, according to the Miami Herald.

“I think there will always be a before and an after Messi when we talk about this sport in the United States. I firmly believe that we can create in North America and in the United States, if not the best league, the one of the top two leagues in the world,” Mas said. “I can’t stress enough the magnitude of this announcement,” he insisted.

“Having the best player in the world here is important for our league and for the American football ecosystem…Lionel Messi is coming to this country to win titles and make a difference. I think that’s up to me and my league partners, other owners, enjoy the moment,” he added.

Mas said security will be tight for the Argentine superstar and the team, according to the Miami Herald.

“The players will arrive by bus and go through a tunnel. All of these safety protocols are already in place here and abroad. And it’s not just for our matches,” Mas said, according to the Herald. “It will be an everyday thing and something that we witnessed and which I think was handled very well when (Messi) was here with Argentina before the World Cup.”

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