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"Messi and Busquets make their inaugural appearances for Inter Miami"

Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets make first MLS start for Inter Miami CF in Leagues Cup match against Atlanta United FC.

Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets, former teammates from Barcelona, made their first appearance together in Inter Miami CF's starting lineup on Tuesday night. This comes after their debut as substitutes in a thrilling victory over Cruz Azul, where Messi scored the winning goal with the final kick.

The Leagues Cup matchup against Atlanta United FC at DRV PNK stadium is also significant for Miami manager Gerardo "Tata" Martino, as it marks his first match against his former club, which he led to the MLS Cup title in 2018. Martino, who took over as Miami coach on June 28, confirmed that Messi would be the team's captain not only for this game but also in the future.

Busquets and Messi had a remarkable 13-year partnership in Barcelona's first team before Messi's move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021. Despite the distance, their friendship remains strong, forged during their successful years at Camp Nou.

In the previous game against Cruz Azul, Messi displayed his trademark brilliance with a stunning free kick from just outside the penalty area, securing a 2-1 victory for Miami. This moment added to the already captivating narrative of Messi joining David Beckham's MLS team.

Miami is currently participating in the inaugural Leagues Cup, a tournament that brings together MLS and Liga MX teams in a World Cup-style format. Messi may make his official MLS debut in a home game against Charlotte on August 20.

However, one former Barcelona player who will have to wait for his debut is Jordi Alba, who joined Miami on July 20. He was not included in the squad list for the game against Atlanta.

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