Lionel Messi is officially an Inter Miami player: "Sí, Muchachos!"
Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Lionel Messi, seen by many as soccer's greatest ever player, has completed his move to Inter Miami on a deal running to 2025, the MLS outfit has announced!
The 36-year-old Argentina superstar revealed last month he had decided to join the Florida side as his contract with PSG came to an end.
He landed in Fort Lauderdale this week and, with the deal now officially done, is in line to make his debut for his new employers on Friday against Mexico’s Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup.
The World Cup winner said in a statement from the club: "I'm very excited to start this next step in my career with Inter Miami and in the United States."
"This is a fantastic opportunity and together we will continue to build this beautiful project. The idea is to work together to achieve the objectives we set, and I'm very eager to start helping here in my new home."
Inter Miami are co-owned by former England captain David Beckham, who said: "Ten years ago, when I started my journey to build a new team in Miami, I said that I dreamt of bringing the greatest players in the world to this amazing city."
"Players who shared the ambition I had when I joined LA Galaxy to help grow football in the USA and to build a legacy for the next generation in this sport that we love so much."
"Today that dream came true. I couldn’t be prouder that a player of Leo’s caliber is joining our club, but I am also delighted to welcome a good friend, an amazing person and his beautiful family to join our Inter Miami community."
"The next phase of our adventure starts here, and I can’t wait to see Leo take to the pitch."
Messi joins ailing Inter Miami
MLS commissioner Don Garber said: "We are overjoyed that the greatest player in the world chose Inter Miami CF and Major League Soccer, and his decision is a testament to the momentum and energy behind our League and our sport in North America."
"We have no doubt that Lionel will show the world that MLS can be a league of choice for the best players in the game. We look forward to seeing his debut for Inter Miami in our Leagues Cup tournament later this month."
Messi arrives after a season in which he helped Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar, as well as PSG to the Ligue 1 title, as in his first campaign with them in 2021-22.
That adds to an already huge trophy haul on his CV that features four Champions League successes from his years with Barcelona, for whom he scored a staggering total of 672 goals.
Joining Miami sees Messi – who has also netted more than 100 international goals – reunite with boss Gerardo "Tata" Martino, who he previously worked under with Barça and Argentina.
Martino was appointed in June after the club sacked Beckham’s ex-Manchester United team-mate Phil Neville.
Inter Miami are rock-bottom of the Eastern Conference after losing 3-0 to St. Louis on Saturday.
Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire