"Lionel Messi could have downed tools" - USMNT legend praises Inter Miami star for his stunning start to life in MLS

New York City FC v Inter Miami CF
New York City FC v Inter Miami CF

Former USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard recently lauded Lionel Messi for his contributions to the MLS with Inter Miami.

Messi left Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) last summer following the expiration of his contract. Despite having a big offer from Saudi Arabia, he decided to move to the US, joining Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.

The Argentine had a stunning start to life in the US, helping the Herons to their first-ever trophy in the form of the Leagues Cup. He scored 10 goals and provided one assist in seven games in the tournament. However, his form dropped post that as he managed just one goal in six MLS appearances along with two assists.

Howard, meanwhile, is looking forward to what Lionel Messi has to offer in his first full season in the US football. He said in an interview with Daily Mail (via Goal):

"We've seen the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham - some of the greats - but to see Lionel Messi… let's face it, he could have come to MLS and downed tools. And he didn't do that.
"Last year was a little bit of a teaser, and now it’s like: okay, this is the real thing."

Inter Miami will begin their competitive campaign in the MLS on February 21 against Real Salt Lake. They will play a number of friendlies across the globe, including against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr and Messi's boyhood club Newell's Old Boys.

Lionel Messi set to be joined by Luis Suarez at Inter Miami next season

Following Lionel Messi's arrival at Inter Miami last summer, his former Barcelona teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba also joined the club. Another former Barca star Luis Suarez has now joined the trio at the MLS side.

Suarez left Brazilian side Gremio on a free transfer and has now joined Inter Miami. The 36-year-old striker could be a key player for Gerardo Martino's side in their pursuit of a playoff place in the MLS next season.

The Uruguayan legend has scored 471 goals and provided 263 assists in 768 games for various clubs over the years. He has played for the likes of Liverpool, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid over the years, winning numerous trophies.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez formed a lethal partnership along with Neymar Jr. during their time together at Barca. Messi and Suarez shared the pitch 258 times, combining for 99 goals across competitions.

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