This Friday, Inter Miami CF head coach “Tata” Martino and defender DeAndre Yedlin were made available to the media prior to the Leagues Cup 2023 final. Here were some of the key points from their press conference.
First, both were questioned about the impact Messi's arrival has had on MLS,.
“MLS and Inter Miami were already experiencing exponential growth, but the arrival of Messi has accelerated everything and now the eyes of the entire world are on us. We have to take advantage of that as a nation, as a league and as a team,” Yedlin said.
“I had already witnessed the growth of the league year after year when I was in Atlanta, now with the arrival of Messi things have accelerated and I am sure that the rules of the game will change, Martino said. “Today not many world soccer stars can come due to economic restrictions, but seeing all that the arrival of players like this can generate, surely things will change and the league will continue to grow much more.”'
The Inter Miami defender was then asked about the squad's perception of Messi arriving after winning the FIFA World Cup.
Yedlin replied: “He could have come and said I am world champion and that is how things will be done, but he did not do it that way. Leo is always smiling, he talks to everyone, with veterans and homegrown players alike, he makes a lot of groups and that causes a very good vibe in the locker room. Before I had a ridiculous amount of respect for him as a footballer, but now my respect for him as a human being is greater."
Subsequently, Martino was asked to reflect on Leagues Cup and if he would be willing to play future matches in Mexico.
“I reiterate something I said a few weeks ago, when the way the tournament is going to be played is negotiated or discussed, everything that has to be discussed is discussed and when an agreement is reached, it is played that way,” Martino said. “That being said, I also think it's fair to play a tournament where US teams can be home and away, and have to travel the same way Mexican teams have.”
Later, Martino was asked the key to his team’s improved defense and the difference between the MLS Cup and Leagues Cup.
“We have prioritized rest and recovery a lot,” he said. “We have watched many videos and analyzed the situations in which we suffered the most defensively and from there, we have adjusted”.
He added: “We cannot compare those titles, because one lasts the whole year with this one that lasts a month. But that is what should be valued, being able to get the team's first trophy in a very short time. That is very relevant."
Finally, they asked Yedlin if they feel invincible.
"I don't think we are invincible or perfect, we are in great shape and very confident, but we must focus on committing as little errors as possible and take advantage of the offensive power we have. Only then can we win, but the word invincible does not exist in our dictionary”.
The final showdown of Leagues Cup 2023 will take place on Saturday, with kick-off scheduled for 9:12 p.m. m. ET in Nashville, Tennessee. All the eyes of the world will be on the Music City.