- LAFC host Miami in MLS
- Chiellini facing Messi threat
- Urges team not to focus solely on Messi
WHAT HAPPENED? Messi and Inter Miami take on LAFC on Sunday in MLS in a game which will see the World Cup winner in action once again. Chiellini has enjoyed many battles with Mess in the past, during his time with Juventus and the Italy national team, and has not been surprised to see the forward thriving in the United States.
WHAT THEY SAID: "I knew. But now maybe all the Americans are understanding better and better what he’s capable of," he told reporters. Chiellini also reminisced about past clashes with Messi and admitted he rarely came out on top, jokingly adding: “I lost a lot of times, I also have bad memories."
Yet Chiellini will be hoping his side can take the win on Sunday and offered some advice to his team-mates about how to stop the Argentina international and his new team.
"We cannot focus just on Messi. The game is LAFC against Miami," he explained. "If you want to play one-against-one against Messi, it’s impossible to win. But I think, however, LAFC could beat Miami as a group."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: LAFC manager Steve Cherundolo also spoke about the threat his team is facing from Messi and knows he will have opportunities to score.
"It’s an illusion to try to think you’re gonna stop him for 90 minutes. He’s going to have a chance or two," he added. "That’s just the way the game works and the way he’s been able to do throughout his career against every team.”
Messi has scored nine goals in 11 games for Miami since signing in July but did fire a blank last time out against Nashville SC in a goalless draw.
IN TWO PHOTOS:Getty ImagesGetty
WHAT NEXT? Messi will take on LAFC with Miami but is then set for some time away from MLS after being called up to the Argentina squad for 2026 World Cup qualifiers.