Heron Talk 06.17.22

Heron Talk presented by Gallagher

Inter Miami CF head coach Phil Neville met with the media today ahead of a busy period for fútbol in South Florida. On Saturday June 18 at DRV PNK Stadium, soccer legends Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos will host The Beautiful Game by R10 and RC3, and it was announced yesterday that Miami would be a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup tournament. All of this comes ahead of the return of MLS action for Inter Miami following the recent international break, as it will face Atlanta United for the second time this season on Sunday, June 19 at 3 p.m. ET.

“I think the break came at a good time, we really needed it. The boys are itching to get back playing. We did some really good things before the break; we showed some really good qualities, had some really good performances, but now I feel like this is where the marathon starts. There’s a big stretch now where we’ve really got to get points and climb that table. Now is the time to concentrate, keep focused, keep together,” Neville said.

Neville also thought that the opportunity to face Atlanta once again was one to be relished.

“It’s a proper fútbol game. They’ve got some outstanding players and they’ve invested heavily in their roster. These games always produce moments, and the game at DRV PNK Stadium this season was a fantastic one. Probably they felt [that they were] unlucky, but it was the start of a run from us and we want to continue that run.”

Inter Miami forward Gonzalo Higuaín also appeared and was raring to return to MLS action against Atlanta.

“I think the break really helps to rest and train and adjust to anything we need to improve on and maintain the good things we have done so far. The upcoming month is going to be very competitive. We are going to need to be fresh mentally and have energy in our legs because we have a lot of matches this month.”

Both men also praised the shift in soccer culture in the South Florida region, and the influx of positive news in recent days with the area’s relationship with the sport.

“You think about the biggest thing in the world, and that’s World Cup fútbol, and it’s coming to South Florida,” said head coach Neville. “We had Roberto Carlos here yesterday, and Ronaldinho is probably one of the greatest players of all time, and they’re playing in our stadium. South Florida is attracting the best players in the world and it makes you very proud to be around the place. Proud moment for this region, and the soccer fans here really have something to look forward to over the next three, four years.”

Higuaín, who has featured prominently for the Argentina National Team in previous World Cups, explained the prestige that comes with playing in the tournament.

“The most beautiful thing that can happen for a player is to play in the World Cup. Very few get to play in it. Playing in the World Cup is a dream and it’s the best experience for a player. It’s a great opportunity for the fans and to bring many people to Miami to see the World Cup.”

Inter Miami CF Managing Owner Jorge Mas also shared his excitement for the City of Miami and its loyal soccer fans, commenting “Miami fútbol fans you did it. Your passion and love of the game has made Miami a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The Club is also excited for the opportunity to be a home base for a national team and allow them to train at our facilities during the 2026 FIFA World Cup — welcome world to our beautiful Miami.”