Lionel Messi will start as a substitute for Inter Miami against Mexican club Cruz Azul on Friday in what is expected to be his first appearance for his new club.

Argentine superstar Messi and his former Barcelona team-mate, Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets, who also recently joined the Major League Soccer club, both start on the bench for the Leagues Cup match.

World Cup winner and seven-times Ballon d’Or winner Messi became the biggest name signing in MLS's history when he joined Miami after his contract with Paris Saint-Germain came to an end in June.

Miami coach Gerard Martino, who coached Messi and with the Argentine national team, had suggested that the star may not yet be ready to play a full game after only returning to training this week after his family vacation.

Miami are currently in bottom place in MLS, which is now taking a one month break while the teams take part in the Leagues Cup tournament, which features all the top flight clubs from MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX.