It’s going to be a big show: Lionel Messi’s new destination is the USA. Family also played a role in the decision.
In Lionel Messi’s new football home, they are already indulging in superlatives, the ticket prices for the possible debut in the land of unlimited opportunities are already expected to explode.
After months of speculation about the future of the soon to be 36-year-old soccer superstar, Messi’s announcement for the “Miami Herald” even triggered “seismic impulses in South Florida’s biggest sports week”.
Messi just didn’t want to wait any longer, he no longer wanted to be dependent on whether his heart club FC Barcelona somehow manages the financing plan or not. “I heard that they had to sell players or reduce salaries, and the truth is that I didn’t want that,” said the Argentine world champion in an interview with the two Spanish sports newspapers “Mundo deportivo” and “Sport”.
On Monday, father and advisor Jorge Messi informed Barca’s President Joan Laporta of his world-famous son’s decision. The Catalans immediately wished Messi the best of luck in his new career path after the interview.
Family plays a big role
The media had also previously reported that father Jorge would have been more in favor of moving to Saudi Arabia. Al-Hilal is said to have bid almost one billion euros for two years. If it was about the money he would have gone there or somewhere else but emphasized Lionel Messi.
His family also played a major role in his decision, and he no longer wanted to be in the limelight when he left Europe. But whether that works in Miami remains to be seen. In any case, the Florida metropolis is used to sports stars and major events with teams such as the Miami Heat, who are currently in the NBA finals, or the Miami Dolphins or, since last year, the Formula 1 race for the football aces’ stadium.
But the seven-time world footballer Messi is a separate category in his profession. “What an incredible move from Miami,” wrote former NFL star JJ Watt. “Messi. Wow.” And the New Times said the arrival of Inter co-owner David Beckham in Los Angeles in 2007 “shifted the perception of ambition and quality around the world” to Major League Soccer. Messi will now “give even more attention to the league in the run-up to the 2026 World Cup”.
In addition to Beckham, the ESPN broadcaster also listed stars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Franz Beckenbauer and Pelé, all of whom also played in the USA. “Messi is not a natural barker, he lacks Ibrahimovic’s citability and Beckham’s charisma, but hey: he is Messi.”
“A huge win for everyone”
The fact that in the first summer after his World Cup crowning he is moving to the USA for the fifth and last attempt, where the next World Cup will be held next to Mexico and Canada in three years, increases the importance of his decision, especially for the Americans and their league. “It’s a huge win for everyone involved here in the MLS. Our team was also very happy that a player like Messi came into the league,” said Berlin’s Hany Mukhtar from Nashville SC of the German Press Agency . “I think that says a lot about the league, that it’s growing,” said last season’s top scorer.
The fact that Messi’s new club is currently bobbing at the bottom of the table in the Estern Conference could not affect the Argentine, who has won a total of 42 titles in his career with FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and the national team and scored 806 goals in 1027 games Hold off Florida.
It has been speculated before that Messi could switch to the Beckham club, even when he was still playing at FC Barcelona. The fact that he sent a congratulatory video to Beckham in 2018 with the final message: “Who knows if you won’t call me in a few years?” Fits into the picture for many. He has also vacationed with his family in Miami, Argentina’s national team had also prepared for the World Cup at Inter.
Founded in 2018
At the beginning of 2018, the founding of the club was announced as the 25th in the MLS, and in March 2020 the team played its first league game. Inter Miami is currently playing at DRV PNK Stadium, which can seat 19,100 fans. The Miami Freedom Park for 25,000 spectators is also to be built, and games are to be played there from 2025.
How long Messi’s contract will last is not yet known. There was and is speculation of two years plus one more as an option. There was also talk of possible shares in the club. Messi himself also pointed out that not everything was 100 percent settled.
He can leave PSG for free, after whistles from his own fans and a rather difficult time, saying goodbye is not particularly difficult, there will be no tears like when Barça was eliminated two years ago. Nothing has been announced about his possible salary in Miami. In addition to Apple, Adidas is also involved, both are MLS sponsors. And while Apple announced a four-part documentary series about Messi’s five World Cup appearances, the German sporting goods manufacturer has had close and contractual ties with Messi for many years.
Inter’s summer shopping is far from over with Messi. Miami recently parted ways with coach Phil Neville, and Javier Morales is temporarily coaching the team – a 43-year-old Argentinian and therefore Messi’s compatriot. The Argentine sports newspaper “Olé” has already reported interest in Gerardo Martino, former Argentine national coach and like Messi from Rosario.
The Argentinian broadcaster TyC Sports also brought up player names such as Sergio Busquets, icon of FC Barcelona and available from this summer for the time being, or Messi’s Uruguayan attacking buddy Luis Suárez as future teammates. National team colleague Ángel di María would also be conceivable after his departure from Juventus Turin.
All players who, in addition to the Florida sun, would contribute to the well-being of the instinctive footballer Messi, who also made it clear in his interview that at some point he could imagine returning to FC Barcelona in another capacity.