Inter Miami, the Major League Soccer team, announced on Saturday that Lionel Messi, the renowned Argentine footballer, has signed a contract until 2025. Messi, who led Argentina to a World Cup victory in Qatar last year, will be introduced by the team in a ceremony on Sunday and is expected to join Inter Miami on the field as early as Friday.
“I’m very excited to start this next step in my career with Inter Miami and in the United States,” Messi, who moves from Paris Saint-Germain, said in a statement.
“This is a fantastic opportunity and together we will continue to build this beautiful project,” Messi said. “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.”
The arrival of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner in Miami has already created a buzz and is anticipated to generate increased interest in the game and MLS throughout the United States. Additionally, there is hope that he will revitalize the fortunes of the struggling Miami squad, currently at the bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference with a record of 5 wins, 13 losses, and 3 draws.
Messi’s inaugural match is scheduled for Friday, when Inter Miami will face Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup, a newly revamped competition involving MLS and Mexican league teams. This signing represents the most significant boost for the North American league since the addition of English star David Beckham to the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007. Beckham, now a co-owner of Inter Miami, launched the Miami squad in 2020 after years of searching for a suitable stadium site.