Four years ago, Messi honored the late Diego Maradona by unveiling Maradona's Newell's Old Boys shirt after a goal for Barcelona. Messi had unknowingly kept the kit in his memorabilia closet, only to give it special wear. “I didn't even realize that I had it,” he recalled
Messi and Newell's Old Boys reunite
Reuning against his old side on Thursday is yet another dream for Messi. One day, he expects to suit up for them.
“Personally there was always the idea, and even more so after having become world champion, of playing Argentine football. Ever since I started playing at Newell's when I was little and going to the stadium, it was my dream to play there for the first team,” Messi told former Argentina coach and player Jorge Valdano last year.
“When I was seven or eight years old, I remember going with my dad, my uncle and my brothers. We always went to the stadium. If it wasn't a very complicated game that could end in trouble, like a Clásico, we would go whenever we could.”
Messi, at least for now, can temporarily “return” home. He often vacations in Rosario to spend time with his family. But the city of Rosario retains hope that one day its hero suits up for them.
Messi and Inter Miami continue their preseason tour against Newell's Old Boys on Thursday, February 15, at Ft. Lauderdale's DRV PNK Stadium at 7:30 pm EST on Apple TV.
The Herons kick off the MLS season on February 21 against Real Salt Lake.