Inter Miami announced a two-and-a-half-year contract with forward Lionel Messi on July 15th.
“Welcome number 10,” Inter Miami’s Twitter account wrote in Spanish when introducing their new signing Messi. The club, which competes in Major League Soccer (MLS), also confirmed that the Argentine captain will wear his familiar number 10 jersey.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber also stated, “We are pleased to confirm that the best player in the world has chosen Inter Miami and MLS. His decision is a testament to the strength and appeal of this competition, as well as soccer in North America. We are confident that Lionel will show the world that MLS can become the top choice for the best players.”
Messi’s unveiling ceremony is scheduled to take place today, Sunday, July 16th, at Inter Miami’s home stadium DRV PNK in Fort Lauderdale after Messi leaves PSG. The 36-year-old forward could potentially play his first home match as early as July 21st, against Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup. Miami will hold a press conference for Messi on July 17th, and he will have his first training session with his new teammates the following day.
“I am very excited to start the next chapter of my career with Inter Miami in the United States. This is a great opportunity, and together we will continue building this club,” Messi said in the club’s recruitment announcement.
In Miami, Messi will earn a salary ranging from $50 million to $60 million per year. The total value of his two-and-a-half-year contract will range from $125 million to $150 million. The Argentine captain will also receive a portion of the revenue from new subscriptions to watch MLS on Apple TV, as well as a portion of the increased profits of the sportswear company Adidas in the United States.
Leo joined Miami with a free Messi transfer fee after his two-year contract with PSG expired. He arrived in the United States on July 11th, completed paperwork, and underwent a medical examination the following day.
Messi holds the record for winning seven Ballon d’Or awards and has an impressive collection of titles at both club and national team levels. He is considered one of the greatest players in the history of world football. Messi’s arrival is expected to usher in a new chapter for MLS, which was established in 1993.
Inter Miami was founded in 2018 and has three co-owners, one of whom is former English footballer David Beckham. Miami’s home stadium has a seating capacity of 18,000 and is located in the southern part of the state of Florida.
Before coming here, Messi won the World Cup and secured 10 La Liga titles, four Champions League titles with Barcelona, and two Ligue 1 titles with PSG.
According to European media, Messi turned down a $400 million annual salary offer from Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal before choosing Inter Miami.
Inter Miami is currently at the bottom of the table after 22 matches in the 2023 season, with five wins, three draws, and 14 losses. Just before signing the contract with Messi, Inter Miami went through an 11-game winless streak.
On July 21st, Messi is expected to play his first match for Inter Miami. The match will be against Cruz Azul from Mexico and will be part of the Leagues Cup, a mixed tournament between MLS teams and the Mexican championship.
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