Lionel Messi says he’s going to MLS club Inter Miami

Argentine superstar Lionel Messi said Wednesday he’s going to join the Major League Soccer club Inter Miami.

“I made the decision that I am going to Miami. I still haven’t closed it one hundred percent. I’m missing some things but we decided to continue my journey there,” the seven-time world player of the year said in an interview posted by Spanish outlets SPORT and Mundo Deportivo.

The blockbuster announcement comes months after Messi was awarded the Golden Ball at the World Cup, the prize given to the best player in the tournament. It also followed rumors of a lucrative deal in the Middle East and reports of a move back to his beloved Barcelona.

Instead, Messi has chosen the path of other superstar players.
The move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami isn’t entirely surprising. Beckham is a well-known fan of Messi and, in 2019, teased, “You never know what can happen in football,” when asked about signing the Argentine one day.

Earlier Wednesday, the CEO and managing owner of Inter Miami tweeted a cryptic picture of a No. 10 shirt with a last name partially revealed – showing just the last two letters, “SI.”

MLS said a deal with Messi has not been completed, but welcomed the prospect of Messi playing in the league.

“We are pleased that Lionel Messi has stated that he intends to join Inter Miami and Major League Soccer this summer,” the league said in a Wednesday statement. “Although work remains to finalize a formal agreement, we look forward to welcoming one of the greatest soccer players of all time to our League.”

CNN has reached out to Inter Miami, Messi’s representative and David Beckham – who is part of Inter Miami’s ownership team.

There had been speculation around Messi’s next move since he announced his departure from French side Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), playing his last game for the club on Sunday.

An earlier BBC report by football reporter Guillem Balague said Messi, who won the World Cup with Argentina in December, was set to turn down an offer from Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal.

Messi left Barcelona in tears in 2021 after financial mismanagement at the club, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, meant it was unable to offer its talisman a new contract.

He went on to win two Ligue 1 titles in his two seasons at PSG, but was unable to help the club win the Champions League for the first time in its history.

Messi’s time at the club ended acrimoniously after PSG suspended him for taking an unauthorized trip abroad to Saudi Arabia, for which he later apologized.

Before his two-season stint with PSG, Messi spent 17 trophy-laden years at Barcelona, where he turned from schoolboy to sporting legend.

Earlier this week, his father and agent, Jorge Messi, said his son’s preferred move would be a return to Barcelona.

Some Facts About Messi’ Decision 

Is Messi joining Inter Miami?

Lionel Messi is taking his talents to South Beach. Messi, the 2022 World Cup champion, announced on Wednesday that he will join Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami CF, a pro soccer club owned by David Beckham, after exiting Ligue 1’s Paris Saint-Germain following two seasons.

How soon will Messi play for Inter Miami?

The soonest one can expect to see Messi’s debut for Inter Miami is on June 25 when the team will play last season’s runner-up Philadelphia Union.

Who owns MLS Inter Miami?

Jorge Mas
While David Beckham is the public face of Inter Miami as a co-owner, he’s not the only member of the ownership group. Jorge Mas is the club’s CEO and managing owner. His brother, Jose Mas, is a co-owner.

When would Messi start in MLS?

That means his first MLS game will be Aug. 20 against Charlotte at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

How rich is Inter Miami?

Private equity firm Ares Management ARES +0.3% also purchased a stake in the team in 2021. In February, Forbes valued Inter Miami at $600 million, making it the 11th most valuable MLS team.

Why Messi chose MLS?

MLS and its broadcast partner, Apple, offered Messi a share of revenue generated by new subscribers to MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+, the Athletic reported citing multiple sources. Messi also was offered a profit-sharing deal with Adidas, per the Athletic.

How much will Miami pay Messi?

How much will Messi make in the deal? Messi’s complicated deal will include salary, bonuses and equity in the team. It is valued between $125 million and $150 million.

Is MLS better than Premier league?

The Premier League is without a doubt better than the MLS. But don’t go totally writing off Major League Soccer just yet. According to Global Football Rankings the Premier League is the strongest league in the world.

Is MLS related to FIFA?

MLS was founded in 1993 as part of the United States’ successful bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

What does MLS football stand for?

Major League Soccer
The Major League Soccer and MLS name and shield are registered trademarks of Major League Soccer, L.L.C. (“MLS”).