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Benja Cremaschi: Playing with Lionel Messi is indescribable

Inter Miami youngster Benja Cremaschi has shared his experience playing for his hometown team and alongside his childhood idol, Lionel Messi.

During an interview with CBS Soccer as part of their on-site UEFA Champions League LIVE show in Miami on Tuesday, the young player from Inter Miami, Benja Cremaschi, was asked about his remarkable journey over the past year. This includes signing his first professional contract, making his debut with the USMNT, and, of course, the unique experience of playing alongside his childhood idol, Lionel Messi.

Benja Cremaschi: I grew up watching Messi play

“Obviously it’s amazing being able to play in front of my family and friends.” Benjamin Cremaschi said. “I grew up in Miami so it’s an amazing feeling. Now I share a locker room with Messi so it’s honestly been a ridiculous year.

“I grew up watching him play. Watching a lot of Argentina players play. Now I can share the field and the day-to-day life with such a player. It’s something I can’t describe.

“When I knew he was coming to the club I wasn’t really nervous. But the first time I saw him in the locker room, which is where I met him I was really nervous, obviously shaking his hand. That was a really nerve-wracking moment.

“It was a crazy, surreal moment for sure. I don’t have his number in my contacts but he’s in a group chat so if I ever need to reach out to him.”

Benja Cremaschi made a notable entry onto the scene in 2023. He played a vital role in the Herons’ Leagues Cup campaign alongside Messi. His standout performances have garnered attention from USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter and the USSF, leading to his call-up for their September camp. Seizing the opportunity, the teenager provided an assist to Kevin Paredes in a friendly against Oman.

The 18-year-old may join several young MLS stars in Gregg Berhalter’s January camp. This window, not officially recognized by FIFA, often features MLS talent and players on the fringes of selection with their foreign clubs. Despite the Herons being in offseason mode, Benja Cremaschi is currently relishing his time away from the competitive side of the game.

Alex Lundy
Alex Lundy
A lifelong football fan, Alex loves to dabble in its history, especially FIFA World Cup. But his love for sports doesn't end at football since he loves watching NBA and Formula1 too. Reading novels and watching classic films takes the rest of his time.
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