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Men’s football Inter Miami’s stars are yet to align

The eyes of the football world have been increasingly on star-spangled South Florida this summer, but that has almost certainly not been a good thing for its struggling MLS club, writes JAMES NALTON

THE stars may have arrived in Miami, but they’re yet to align for the city’s Major League Soccer side, Club Internacional de Futbol Miami.

More commonly and conveniently known as Inter Miami, the club part-owned by David Beckham have had a rough start to MLS life and, in their second season, are struggling under new head coach Phil Neville.

The profile of the club and of Beckham will always mean they garner more global interest than some of the other sides in the league, and being based in the celebrity city of Miami (even though the club plays its home games in nearby Fort Lauderdale) also brings added attention.

The eyes of the football world have been increasingly on South Florida this summer as it emerged Lionel Messi has been holidaying in the region. The Barcelona star is taking a break with his family following his Copa America triumph with Argentina earlier this month.

Messi and his wife Antonella Roccuzzo were spotted in a local pharmacy, one that would be the equivalent to Boots in the UK, where Covid-19 vaccinations are available. 

His unusual, relatively casual public appearances have made the news from Catalonia to Cape Florida.

It’s rumoured that Messi will move to MLS in the coming years, with Inter Miami the favourites to sign him, but few fans have diverted their gaze towards the club so far.

And given the way Inter Miami are playing at the moment, they have no reason to — unless they want to point out how badly the club are doing.

A couple of high-profile footballers who did show interest in Inter were Paul Pogba and Presnel Kimpembe.

The French pair are among a number of footballers, including Romelu Lukaku and Paulo Dybala, spending a combination of downtime and personal pre-season training in the Miami area.

Pogba and Kimpembe attended Inter Miami’s game against New England Revolution this week, supporting their compatriot Blaise Matuidi, who is one of the club’s designated players (a star player whose wage doesn’t count towards the salary cap).

Inter Miami’s performances are yet to live up to their big-name billing, and the onlooking World Cup winners were made aware of this as the home side suffered a 5-0 defeat.

It was their worst result of the season, but it was also the sixth consecutive loss for Neville’s side, who have only won two of their 12 games this season and sit bottom of the overall MLS standings.

Inter Miami have attracted plenty of attention during their season-and-a-bit in MLS, but given the way they are playing at the moment, that might not be a good thing.

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