Sep 15, 2023 - Sports

Lionel Messi to steal the show at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Lionel Messi plays in early September. Photo: Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

How much will Atlantans pay to see the world's greatest soccer player (arguably ever)? We'll find out on Saturday.

Driving the news: Lionel Messi makes his first visit this weekend to Mercedes-Benz Stadium with Inter Miami.

  • Whether the World Cup winner gets the clear to take the field after traveling with the Argentina national team over the past weekend remains to be seen.

Details: Two midfield seats overlooking the players' entrance tunnel posted on Ticketmaster are yours — for $10,000. Nosebleed seats cost more than $100.

Why it matters: The 36-year-old World Cup champion made history and took home trophies with Barcelona, PSG and the Argentina national team and is entering the final chapter of his career.

  • Chances to watch him play — and dominate the pitch — are few.

Of note: Two key people from Atlanta United's history are making a homecoming appearance.

  • Josef Martínez, the stone-faced striker and founding player who won Five Stripes fans' hearts and Tata Martino, the inaugural Atlanta United coach whose preference for attacking style soccer pushed the team to an MLS championship in only its second year.

What we're watching: Since his high-profile arrival in Miami in July, Messi's already led the team to its first trophy and turned them into potential playoff contenders.

  • Atlanta United is operating at nearly full strength (Ozzie Alonso is out). We believe in miracles. But we also believe we will see a Messi goal.

Axios Miami's thought bubble: Everyone loves Messi, even opposing fans, Martin Vassolo writes.

  • It almost feels like he's on his own 'Eras' tour. Expect cheers whenever he touches the ball and don't change the channel. Messi magic can happen at any time.
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