The greatest soccer player of his era, and perhaps the greatest player of all time, is coming to the United States at the end of his career. The club announced in a statement released on Saturday that Lionel Messi (36 years old) has officially joined Inter Miami of Major League Soccer.
His contract commits him to the team through the 2025 MLS season. Messi He will earn between 50 to 60 million dollars annually in a compensation package that includes a signing bonus and equity in the team.
“I am very excited to begin this next step in my career with Inter Miami and the United States,” he said in a statement. “This is an amazing opportunity and together we will continue to build this beautiful project.”
Messi had revealed his plans to play in Miami last month and He is seen shopping with his family In a Miami area grocery store this week.
He is expected to join the squad next week, which will put him on track to make his debut for Inter Miami in their CONCACAF Champions League match against Mexico’s Cruz Azul on July 21.
A child soccer prodigy in Argentina, Messi moved to Spain to sign for Barcelona at the age of 13 and quickly became a talked about young player. He made his first-team debut at the age of 16 and had an amazing career, winning every major trophy and six Ballons d’Or as the best player in the world. Go to Paris Street. Germain in 2021, where he won the Golden Ball award again, and his team dominated the French League, although it failed to win the Champions League.
He has been the captain of the Argentine national team since its inception around 2005, and added the last missing trophy from his collection when he won the World Cup with them last winter.
The consensus of fans and historians was that his greatness as a player could only be rivaled by Cristiano Ronaldo in his era and Pele and Diego Maradona from any era.
Messi’s signing completes what can be described as a lull for Barcelona at Inter Miami that preceded his official arrival. the team Chief Business Officer And Its top operations and operational facilities Both are former Barcelona employees. Last month, Inter Miami announced that Messi’s former Barcelona midfield colleague, Sergio Busquets, would be their second signing this summer.
Then, two weeks ago, Gerardo Martino, the Argentine known as Tata who coached Messi at Barcelona, was named coach of Inter Miami. In his introductory press conference, he spoke candidly about working with Messi and Busquets, leaving no doubt that he saw his new challenge as more of a reunion.
“Sometimes we associate the United States, Miami is associated with the idea of vacation,” said Martino. “This is not that. We want competition.
“They are not players who will come here not to compete.”
The signing reminds us of 2007, when the Los Angeles Galaxy from MLS signed the most famous player in the world, if not the best, David Beckham, at the age of 32. Beckham played in Los Angeles for six years, won two championships, and brought unprecedented exposure to the league. .
MLS has always talked about matching the quality and vision of the best leagues in the world. Hopefully, Lionel Messi’s golden years will help propel him in that direction.