Inter Miami lift the lid on their THREE-YEAR Lionel Messi chase with help from David Beckham
Chats with David Beckham, promises of a life like Michael Jordan and an annual salary of $60 million…Inter Miami lifts the lid on their THREE-YEAR chase to sign Lionel Messi
- Lionel Messi is expected to play his first game for Inter Miami later in July
- The deal could be officially confirmed by Miami in the coming days
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Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas has opened the lid on his incredible three-year drive to bring Lionel Messi to Major League Soccer.
Messi can officially confirm his move to Miami any time now, after publicly revealing that he is on his way to Major League Soccer after his two-year stint with Paris Saint-Germain.
Messi, regarded by many as the greatest footballer ever, will lead to an explosion of interest in football in the US and his presence will enhance the reputation of MLS around the world.
Now speaking to French publication El Pais, Mas has revealed just how much work it took to bring Messi to the United States in a move that will almost certainly end the 36-year-old’s career in the country.
“In 2019 we started thinking about how we could bring him in,” says Mas. Messi can make MLS one of the two or three biggest leagues in the world.
World Cup winner Lionel Messi moves to Inter Miami in a huge move for MLS
Miami co-owner Jorge Mas has spoken out about efforts to bring Messi to the team
Mas revealed that his co-owner David Beckham played a part in convincing Messi about the move
“I think he comes with a desire to make his mark, and he will be able to do that outside of football. When he retires, he will have a share in the club. I envision a post-football life for Messi very similar to that of David Beckham or Michael Jordan.”
Mas revealed that he needed help from his co-owner Beckham – and new MLS broadcaster Apple – to close the deal.
Apple is believed to be funding part of Messi’s salary, which Mas told El Pais is about $50-$60 million a year (duration of the deal is currently unknown), in part through subscriptions from fans who pay to go to MLS. to look.
‘I spent three years on it, a year and a half very intensively. There were many conversations with Jorge (Messi’s father). David talked to Leo, only about football matters, because he was a player.
“We talked in Barcelona, Miami, Rosario, Doha… I spent the whole World Cup in Qatar watching Argentina. The Apple contract was very important to close the deal.”
Mas hinted that the next signing of Sergio Busquets, who played alongside Messi in their iconic all-conquering Barcelona squad, is a sign of things to come. He says it is “essential” that Miami surround Messi with players of his level.
But when he makes his debut – currently believed to be on July 21 against Cruz Azul – Messi will be the star by far.
Miami is last in the MLS Eastern Conference, 10 points behind the playoff spots. But it broke a seven-game losing streak at least with a 1-1 draw against Austin FC on Saturday night.
Tata Martino, who once coached Messi at Barcelona, was appointed as Miami’s new coach this week.
Mas, pictured with Beckham, said he spent three years working on the Messi deal
Mas said Messi can live a life like Michael Jordan in the US away from football
Martino was unsurprisingly excited about Messi’s impending arrival and insists the Argentine star is ready to take the MLS by storm.
“I spoke with Leo and yesterday with Sergio,” Martino said on Thursday. “Sometimes people hear Miami and think of vacation.
“But these two players don’t come here for vacation, they’re here to work, compete and win. That’s in their blood.
“The fact that the best in the world decides to play in this competition will help growth. It’s already growing, but the presence of Messi playing here in this league will definitely make MLS better.”