Inter Miami has received a massive boost since they signed superstar Lionel Messi. Although the club currently sits bottom of the Eastern Conference MLS table, they have essentially been transformed, both on and off the pitch, in the last month. The Argentine legend has propelled his new club to the Leagues Cup final. However, interest in the team has also skyrocketed as well.

This new appeal in Inter is evident in ticket prices to watch the team play, as well as club merchandise selling like hotcakes. Now, Messi is helping Inter Miami to possibly feature in the prestigious Copa Libertadores.

Messi’s Argentina ties are helping Miami and MLS

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TyC Sports reporter Hugo Balassone is claiming that Chiqui Tapia has invited the MLS club to play in the tournament. Tapia is currently the president of the Argentine Football Federation. Messi’s involvement in the Argentina national team is a significant reason for the move.

Inter Miami would be first MLS club in Copa Libertadores

The Copa Libertadores is the marquee club competition in South America. It is the Champions League for the continent. CONMEBOL organizes the annual tournament that regularly features top teams such as Independiente, Boca Juniors, River Plate, Sao Paulo, and Palmeiras.

Although the tournament usually solely features clubs from South America, teams from other areas have featured in the past. In fact, Mexican sides have been invited to play at the competition in recent years. Pumas, Toluca, and Pueblo all took part in the 2016 Copa Libertadores. However, none of the trio were able to advance beyond the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Argentina’s move to invite an MLS team to the Copa Libertadores extends CONMEBOL’s partnership with CONCACAF. The two governing bodies previously announced a “strategic collaboration agreement” earlier in the year. This partnership will see various CONCACAF members play in the upcoming 2024 Copa America. The tournament, the biggest national team competition in South America, is coming to the United States that summer.

PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire