Inter Miami Owner Reveals Three-year Journey Leading to Lionel Messi’s MLS Transfer, Claiming Messi’s Retirement to be Similar to Michael Jordan, David Beckham

David Beckham’s move to the MLS in 2007 shocked the world of football. At 31, he was still at the peak of his career, considered an important player for Real Madrid and the England national team. While he was criticized for choosing money over the game, his decision has paid off for him and the league 16 years later, with Lionel Messi now ‘seemingly’ following in his footsteps.

Although Beckham didn’t see out his career in the MLS, he brought that much-needed attention to the league. After his move to the United States, high-profile players like Robbie Keane, Samuel Eto’o, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiery Henry, and Didier Drogba followed suit.

16 years later and Beckham has his franchise in the league. He founded the Miami-based club with Jose and Jorge Mas, the latter being the primary owner of the club. With Lionel Messi’s unveiling looming, let’s explore how the Beckham franchise convinced arguably the greatest player in the game’s history to join their team.

Inter Miami Owner Reveals Lionel Messi’s MLS Transfer Was Three-year in Making

Messi was not short of suitors when it was revealed his contract with PSG would not be renewed. Although the World Cup winner won two Ligue 1 titles in a row, he was far from being the fulfilled player we saw at Barcelona or Argentina when he lifted the World Cup last December.

Finally, Lionel Messi lifts World Cup trophy: Emotions, tears, joy for Argentina captain's crowning achievement in potentially his last FIFA tournament | Sporting News

Barcelona wanted that beautiful reunion. Plans were put in place for his return, while a Saudi club put an astronomical deal on the table, which would have seen Messi earn what no footballer had ever earned in the history of the game. Ultimately, Messi chose Inter Miami, a club at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

The primary owner of Inter Miami, Jorge Mas, claimed yesterday that the Messi move was three years in the making. The Miami club had to convince the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner why Inter Miami was the best place for his present and future.

“In 2019, we started to think how to bring Messi to Miami, a global city on the rise,” the co-founder declared. “Messi will be in his own hemisphere, almost in the same time zone as Rosario. This is the best commercial market on the planet. Messi can make MLS one of the biggest two or three leagues in the world,” Mas concluded.

Inter Miami Owner Claims Lionel Messi’s Retirement to Be Similar to Michael Jordan, David Beckham

Messi could have gone to Saudi Arabia if he wanted more money or Barcelona if he wanted to continue playing in Europe, winning his fifth Champions League title. However, the Argentinean superstar made a switch to North America, showing that this move was about something other than money.

“I imagine a life after soccer very similar to those of David Beckham and Michael Jordan. He can continue to work in a market that won’t stop growing. He’ll have opportunities he wouldn’t have elsewhere,” Jorge Mas stated.

Jorge Mas Reflects on Inaugural Season Ahead of MLS Playoffs | Inter Miami CF

Messi could continue at Inter Miami in some capacity in the future, most likely as a stakeholder in the club. The fact that he’s not earning a buxom salary at the club means there is likely something else in it for him.

In addition, Messi may not enjoy football as much as he would love to, but he could love life in Miami. His family will be closer to home than ever, which probably means much more to the Argentine than anything else.

How do you rate Messi’s move to MLS? Let us know in the comments below.


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