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Lionel Messi

Inter Miami boss Tata Martino confirms Messi & Busquets likely to start vs Atlanta United

Inter Miami’s superstar duo Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets will likely start against Atlanta United, as confirmed by head coach Tata Martino.

After completing a blockbuster move to Major League Soccer this summer, Messi wasted no time settling at his new club after enjoying a surreal debut against Cruz Azul.

Coming off the bench in the second half, the Argentine World Cup winner scored a dramatic free kick in injury time, helping Miami secure a thrilling 2-1 victory.

Busquets also featured in the second half as a substitute.

Messi, who wore the captain’s armband during the last game, will continue to lead Miami and has a great chance to start alongside Busquets in the Leagues Cup clash against Atlanta United.

“It is very likely that both Messi and Busquets will play longer, even from the beginning,” said the Argentine coach (h/t ESPN). “Everything will depend on how they feel. It’s just their second game.”

Messi was the talk of the town after his remarkable debut, with Martino describing the performance as routine for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.

“It is something habitual from him [greatness], and because it is habitual, we try to normalise things that are not common,” Martino added on Messi’s performance.

Miami midfielder Robert Taylor was also left impressed with the performances of Messi and Busquets, stating the Barca duo changed the complexion of the game.

“When they came on, it obviously changed the game massively,” Taylor said.

“What I noticed, every time I would get the ball from Busquets or Messi I would have tons of space and time.

“They attract players to them, and they know when to release the ball and when to keep it. It’s a level they bring to the game that will help everybody around them.”

Miami will look to make it back-to-back victories when they host Atlanta at the DRV PNK Stadium.

It remains unclear whether former Barcelona star Jordi Alba, who joined Miami on a free transfer last week, will be available for Tuesday’s clash.

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