Argentine football legend Lionel Messi has signed a contract with Inter Miami, the Major League Soccer team, extending through the 2025 season.
The 36-year-old striker, who led Argentina to victory in the World Cup last year, will be officially unveiled by the team in a ceremony on Sunday and is expected to make his on-pitch debut for Inter Miami by Friday.
Expressing his enthusiasm, Messi stated, “I’m very excited to begin this new chapter of my career with Inter Miami and in the United States.” His move from Paris St-Germain to Miami has already caused a stir and is anticipated to generate greater interest in the game and boost MLS popularity across the nation.
The signing of Messi is also seen as a potential game-changer for Inter Miami, who currently languish at the bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference.
The team hopes that the long-time Barcelona icon can help revive their fortunes. Messi’s first match is scheduled for Friday, when Inter Miami will face Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup, a competition between MLS and Mexican league teams.
The arrival of Messi is considered the biggest boost for MLS since English star David Beckham joined the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007. Beckham, now a co-owner of Inter Miami, expressed his pride in bringing a player of Messi’s caliber to the club, stating, “The next phase of our adventure starts here, and I can’t wait to see Leo take to the pitch.”
Inter Miami’s head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino has previously managed Messi during his stints at FC Barcelona and the Argentine national team. Messi, who captained Argentina to victory in the 2021 Copa America, holds impressive records with 103 goals and 175 appearances for his country.
MLS commissioner Don Garber hailed Messi’s decision as a testament to the league’s momentum and the growing energy around football in North America. Inter Miami fans eagerly anticipate Messi’s arrival ceremony, followed by his first training session on Tuesday. The club’s management and supporters hope that Messi’s exceptional talent and leadership will elevate the team’s performance and transform their dreams into reality.