Inter Miami, after years of plotting, pleading and hoping — introduced arguably the game’s biggest star on Sunday night, presenting their new franchise player with his pink No. 10 jersey that millions of people will be buying over the coming weeks and months.
In June, Lionel Messi announced to the world that he will be going to the USA to sign for Inter Miami of the MLS. “I made the decision that I am going to go to Miami,” Messi said. “I still haven’t closed it 100%. I’m missing some things, but we decided to continue on the path.”
After his contract with PSG expired, Barcelona and some clubs from Saudi did try to appease the Argentine but it was of no avail.
“I’m very moved to be here in Miami,” Messi told the crowd in Spanish. “I want to thank you for the kindness and love that you have given me. This has happened so fast … I’m anxious to train and compete. Our objective is to be here and win. I’m sure we’re going to have a wonderful experience.”
The Argentine's contract sees him being tied-up to the club till 2025, and will pay him between $50m and $60m a year. The deal also includes a signing bonus and a stake in the team. He is expected to make his debut for his new team on Friday against Mexico’s Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup.
Despite the 36-year-old past his prime, Lionel Messi is still considered as the game's all time greatest player. At Barcelona, he won the Champions League four times and 10 Spanish League titles, the diminutive player joined Paris Saint-Germain where he struggled to repeat his Barca heroics. His major highlight came when he led Argentina to a World Cup triumph in 2022.
Overall, Lionel Messi has scored 715 goals in 885 club games and won the Ballon d’Or, a record seven times.