Fútbol fans rejoice! We’ve got news that you must have been following carefully after months of speculation: Lionel Messi has officially agreed to sign with with Major League Soccer team Inter Miami next season.
The 35-year-old World Cup champion made the announcement in a joint interview with Spanish outlets Mundo Deportivo and SPORT on Wednesday.
“I made the decision that I’m going to go to Miami,” he said. “I still haven’t closed it 100%. I’m missing some things but we decided to continue down this path.”
Inter Miami has also teased the move on social media with a video poking fun of reports of Messi heading to Saudi Arabia or Barcelona:
As first reported in a BBC article by Spanish journalist Guillem Balagué, Messi has decided to join the David Beckham-owned soccer club for “a variety of reasons, including lifestyle and a deal with big brands that extends beyond football.”
After departing from French champions Paris St-Germain — his contract expires on June 30th — Messi has decided on joining Inter Miami on a free transfer, after months of speculation on whether he would be making the move.
Despite being linked with a move to Saudi Arabia or even back to Barcelona, the Argentine player is eyeing a deal likely including commercial collaborations with Apple and Adidas, revenue shares from Apple and even the option to purchase a minority stake in the Miami club. Last week, SPORT reported that an offer to Messi had been made to pay him €50 million ($54 million) over four years.
Inter Miami CF is one of the newest teams in the North American league, first established in 2018. Soccer legend David Beckham currently serves as co-owner and president of the team.
In just a few hours of the major announcement, ticket prices for Inter Miami matches have skyrocketed with prices going from double digits to hundreds of dollars, according to Forbes. So it goes when an all-time great looks to join a new team….