Argentine star Lionel Messi landed in Florida on Tuesday forward of placing the ultimate touches on his transfer to US Main League Soccer membership Inter Miami. Argentine tv footage confirmed Messi, with members of his household, strolling off a personal jet at a small, government airport adjoining to Inter Miami’s stadium in Fort Lauderdale. The World Cup winner is anticipated to place pen to paper on a two and a half 12 months deal, reported to be value $60 million a 12 months, earlier than being introduced to followers at a stadium occasion on Sunday.
“We’re pleased with the choice we made. Ready and desirous to face the brand new problem, the brand new change,” Messi mentioned in an interview with Argentine TV present, Llave a la eternidad, launched on Tuesday.
“My mentality and my head aren’t going to alter and I’m going to strive, wherever I’ve to be, to offer my finest for myself and my new membership and proceed to carry out on the highest stage,” he added.
Messi is the largest title to ever transfer to MLS and the best participant to move to america since Brazilian nice Pele signed for the New York Cosmos in 1975.
MLS hope that Messi will massively enhance the profile of the league and enhance subscriptions to their streaming broadcast take care of Apple TV. Ticket costs for video games more likely to contain Messi have already sky-rocketed.
Followers had begun to collect on the membership’s DRV PNK stadium early within the morning forward of his anticipated arrival.
One of many supporters, Julio Iglesias, 42 mentioned he based the ‘Messias 305’ fan group when he discovered the Argentine star was coming to Miami. He did not beforehand watch MLS video games however mentioned he now will not miss any Miami matches.
“For us, Messi coming means every thing, wherever he goes there’s at all times unimaginable happiness,” he mentioned, whereas standing by a banner declaring ‘We’re ready for you Messias”.
– World Cup fever –
Messi’s arrival may also add to the momentum across the sport forward of the 2026 World Cup, which might be hosted by america together with Canada and Mexico.
He’s anticipated to be joined on the membership by former Barcelona team-mate Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets, whereas ex-Argentina and Barcelona coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino lately took over as coach.
Miami proprietor Jorge Mas has recommended Messi and Busquets could possibly be a part of “three to 5” new signings for the South Florida membership within the present switch window.
One other former Barca participant, Spanish full-back Jordi Alba, has additionally been strongly linked with a transfer to the staff, which is co-owned by former England and Manchester United star David Beckham.
Messi is anticipated to make his debut for his new membership within the July 21 Leagues Cup match towards Mexican membership Cruz Azul.
Miami are presently backside of MLS’s Japanese Convention with simply 5 wins from 21 video games and are ranked twenty eighth out of the 29 groups within the league.
However the membership are within the semi-finals of the US Open Cup, the place they’ve been drawn towards league-leaders FC Cincinnati.
The seven-times Ballon d’Or winner has spent the final two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain, after shifting from Barcelona in 2021, the place he spent nearly all of his profession.
Throughout his time with Barca, Messi gained ten Spanish league titles, seven Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) titles and 4 Champions League winners medals.
He scored twice for Argentina within the World Cup remaining which they gained on penalties in Doha in December, after the sport ended 3-3 after extra-time and raised the trophy as captain.
Messi additionally gained an Olympic gold medal with Argentina in 2008 and the Copa America in 2001.