“It doesn't matter who is on the other teams” – Carlos Vela issues title warning to Lionel Messi ahead of MLS stint

Carlos Vela sends warning to Lionel Messi following Inter Miami transfer
Carlos Vela sends warning to Lionel Messi following Inter Miami transfer

Los Angeles FC star Carlos Vela has warned Lionel Messi after it was confirmed that the Argentine superstar was going to join Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami. Vela has stated that while Messi joining MLS is excellent news for the country’s footballing ambitions, Inter Miami will not dethrone LAFC as title favorites.

Last week, Lionel Messi confirmed that he would be joining Inter Miami after the end of his Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) contract on June 30. The player, who was heavily linked with both Barcelona and Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal, revealed that he wanted more peace of mind, which propelled him to choose Miami over others.

Vela, who has been plying his trade at LAFC since joining from Real Sociedad in 2018, has welcomed Messi’s arrival but remains confident about his team’s chances of winning silverware. Speaking to US TV channel TUDN, the Mexican said:

“It's great news for MLS (Messi's arrival), but I still think that we are still the ones who want to win the title. It doesn't matter who is on the other teams. Plans don't change.”

LAFC, who find themselves in the third spot in the Western Conference table, are the current MLS Cup holders. Inter Miami, on the other hand, are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference rankings.

While both Lionel Messi and the club have confirmed the transfer, the Argentina icon has not yet been unveiled as an Inter Miami player. It is believed that the paperwork is still being finalized. After it is completed, the 35-year-old will sign over the dotted line and officially move to the United States.

MLS’s transfer window opens on July 5, meaning that Inter Miami will not be able to register Messi before then. If he is registered as soon as the window opens, Messi could play his first MLS game against Wayne Rooney’s DC United on July 9.

Carlos Vela struggled against Lionel Messi’s Barcelona in Spain

Carlos Vela and Lionel Messi faced each other 16 times during their time together in Spain, across La Liga and Copa del Rey. The Mexican, who faced Messi once as an Osasuna player and 15 times as a Real Sociedad man, lost 10 times and won only on four occasions.

During Vela’s stint at Sociedad, between 2012 and 2018, Messi scored 13 goals against La Real in 18 games across competitions. Vela, meanwhile, scored once and claimed two assists in that period against the Blaugrana.

The pair faced each other in international colors as well. Messi’s Argentina beat Mexico 4-1 in a friendly in 2008, with Messi scoring once. In 2015, they played another friendly, playing out a 2-2 draw. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was on the scoresheet that time as well.

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Edited by Sushan Chakraborty
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