Lionel Messi, regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time, has been officially presented as a player for Inter Miami, his new club in the United States. On Sunday night, a cheering and capacity crowd witnessed the historic moment as Messi was introduced in front of thousands of excited fans.
Despite unfavorable weather conditions that caused delays, almost every seat in the stadium was filled, and the relentless rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd. In his address to the fans, Messi expressed his excitement and gratitude, saying, “I’m sure we’re going to have many wonderful experiences together. I want to thank all of you, on behalf of my family, for the kindness you have shown me.”
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Inter Miami co-owner and president, David Beckham, also addressed the crowd, highlighting the significance of Messi’s arrival and the passionate support from the fans. “Tonight is a typical Miami welcome for one of the greatest players to have ever played the game. The fact that we have our fans here celebrating this moment… this is what we have created, and we’re very proud of that,” Beckham stated.
The primary owner of Inter Miami, Jorge Mas, expressed his delight at fulfilling the dream of bringing not only elite players but also the greatest player to ever grace the sport to the club. He emphasized that Lionel Messi’s name would now be associated with Inter Miami and its ambitious vision.
The signing of Lionel Messi by Inter Miami was initially met with skepticism when rumors began circulating about the possibility. However, the transfer became a reality, with Messi now shouldering the responsibility of elevating a team currently struggling in the MLS standings and enduring an 11-game winless streak.
The MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, praised Messi’s decision to choose Major League Soccer as his league of choice, emphasizing the league’s growth and potential. “When you have the best player of all time making Major League Soccer his league of choice, I think it’s a real testament to where MLS is and where it’s going in the years ahead,” Garber stated.
“The Unveil” event took place at Inter Miami’s stadium in Fort Lauderdale, marking the beginning of a busy week for Messi with his new club. His first official training session, open to reporters, is scheduled for Tuesday, and if all goes as planned, he will make his debut for Inter Miami in a Leagues Cup match against Cruz Azul on Friday.
Adding to the excitement, Inter Miami also finalized the signing of World Cup winner Sergio Busquets, a Spanish midfielder who will join Messi at the club. Busquets expressed his enthusiasm for this special opportunity to be part of Inter Miami.
Although Messi’s arrival brings immense talent and international acclaim, the challenge ahead is not to be underestimated. The team faces an uphill battle to secure a playoff spot in the remaining 12 MLS matches this season. However, with Messi’s extraordinary abilities and previous success, the expectations are high.
The financial details of Messi’s contract were also disclosed, with the deal set to span two-and-a-half seasons and pay him an annual sum between $50 million (£38 million) and $60 million (£46 million). The total contract value, in cash alone, is estimated to be between $125 million (£96 million) and $150 million (£115 million).
While Messi’s impact in MLS is anticipated, some caution that the league presents its own unique challenges. Former England and Manchester United player turned coach, Wayne Rooney, warned that Messi may find it difficult due to travel demands, varying playing conditions, and the intense competition on the pitch.
Messi’s decision to join Inter Miami was announced in early June, and the anticipation surrounding his arrival has steadily built up until this monumental unveiling event. Now, as Messi embarks on this new chapter of his career, the football world eagerly awaits his contributions and impact on the American soccer scene.
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