Messi seals move to Inter Miami, Beckham says it’s dream come true
Lionel Messi has completed his move to Inter Miami on a deal running to 2025, the Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit announced on Saturday.
The 36-year-old Argentina superstar revealed in June he had decided to join the Florida side as his contract with Paris St.-Germain (PSG) came to an end.
With the deal now officially done, Messi is in line to make his debut for his new employers on Friday against Mexico’s Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup winner said in a statement from the club: “I’m very excited to start this next step in my career with Inter Miami and in the U.S.
“This is a fantastic opportunity and together we will continue to build this beautiful project.
“The idea is to work together to achieve the objectives we set, and I’m very eager to start helping here in my new home.”
Inter Miami are co-owned by former England captain David Beckham, who said: “Ten years ago, when I started my journey to build a new team in Miami, I said that I dreamt of bringing the greatest players in the world to this amazing city.
“Players who shared the ambition I had when I joined LA Galaxy to help grow football in the U.S. and to build a legacy for the next generation in this sport that we love so much.
“Today that dream came true. I couldn’t be prouder that a player of Leo’s calibre is joining our club, but I am also delighted to welcome a good friend, an amazing person and his beautiful family to join our Inter Miami community.
“The next phase of our adventure starts here, and I can’t wait to see Leo take to the pitch.”
MLS commissioner Don Garber said: “We are overjoyed that the greatest player in the world chose Inter Miami CF and MLS, and his decision is a testament to the momentum and energy behind our League and our sport in North America.
“We have no doubt that Lionel will show the world that MLS can be a league of choice for the best players in the game.
“We look forward to seeing his debut for Inter Miami in our Leagues Cup tournament later this month.”
Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi arrives after a season in which he helped his country to World Cup glory in Qatar, as well as PSG to the Ligue 1 title.
This was as in his first campaign with the French clubside in 2021/2022.
That adds to an already huge trophy haul on his CV which features four UEFA Champions League successes from his years with FC Barcelona.
He scored a staggering total of 672 goals for the Spanish clubside.
Joining Miami sees Messi —- who has also netted more than 100 international goals —- reunite with coach Gerardo Martino, who he previously worked under with Barca and Argentina.
Martino was appointed in June after the club sacked Beckham’s ex-Manchester United team-mate Phil Neville.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.