Lionel Messi has confirmed the shocking news that he will be joining Inter Miami and moving to the United States after leaving Paris Saint-Germain.
The Argentinian is now set to become the latest superstar to appear in MLS.
Having turned down reported offers from Saudi Arabia and a return to Barcelona, Messi is now set to touch down in the Florida city for the final stages of what has been a glittering career.
Messi can be a transformative figure for the league just like Pele was in the 1970s, with soccer now emerging as the second most popular sport for the US to participate in at a crucial time in the build-up to the World Cup. of 2026.
Here’s everything we know about Messi’s impending transfer to Inter Miami:
Why did Messi choose Inter Miami over Saudi Arabia and Barcelona?
Lionel Messi said in an exclusive interview with Sport and Sports world: “I am going to join Inter Miami. The decision is 100% confirmed.
“If it had been a matter of money, I would have gone to Saudi Arabia or somewhere else. It seemed like a lot of money. The truth is that my final decision goes elsewhere and not for money.
Messi reportedly turned down a deal from Saudi Arabia worth approximately $400 million.
While Barcelona, who ran into trouble with the FFP in their bid to bring Messi back to the Camp Nou, seemed upset by his decision to move to the United States, with a statement saying: “President Joan Laporta understood and he respected Messi’s decision to want to compete in a league with fewer demands, further away from the spotlight and the pressure to which he has been subjected in recent years.
What is the deal that Inter Miami offers to Messi?
The exact terms of Messi’s new salary and the length of the contract are not yet known.
A Sport report details that Messi will sign a four-year contract, while another Spanish report claims that his salary could be worth $54 million per season.
Regardless of the exact final figure, Messi will almost certainly become the highest-paid player in MLS, with Chicago Fire’s Xherdan Shaqiri currently earning the most at $8,153,000, according to Spotrac.
Messi may also receive an option to buy from an MLS team once he retires, similar to David Beckham’s contract with the LA Galaxy signed 16 years ago that allowed him to buy Inter Miami.
Who owns Inter Miami?
Inter Miami is owned by David Beckham and Jorge Mas, an American businessman. Beckham had the option to buy an MLS expansion team for $25 million as part of the contract he signed when he played for the LA Galaxy. Beckham and the ownership team were awarded the 25th MLS franchise in late January 2018.
Why are Apple and Adidas involved?
Apple and Adidas are involved in the deal, sources said He Independent.
Apple and MLS signed a 10-year, $2.5 billion contract earlier this year and see Messi as a key player in expanding interest in the league.
Apple is especially interested in Messi, having made a four-part docuseries about Messi’s five World Cup appearances, which will soon be broadcast on Apple TV+.
Meanwhile, Adidas, a corporate sponsor of MLS, has sought a profit-sharing deal with Messi, sources say. He Independentwhich will align with any future increases in MLS-related sales tied to the player.
The sportswear giant, which has sponsored Messi since 2006, has been tied to MLS since its inception in 1996 and will continue to supply kits to all 29 teams and provide the league’s official ball until 2030 after signing an extension of six years and $830 million. .
Who will be Messi’s new teammates?
Messi’s future teammates include 2018 MLS Golden Boot winner Josef Martinez. Former Newcastle defender DeAndre Yedlin and designated players Rodolfo Pizarro and Leonardo Campana will also line up alongside Messi.
Reports suggested that Messi would be joined by former Barcelona teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba in Florida, but the Argentine rejected those rumours.
“It is another of the things they said, that I was going with Busi and Jordi to Saudi Arabia, that we had everything arranged. I was obviously aware of them, of what they were going to do, but we never agreed to go anywhere together,” Messi said.
“I made my decision for myself and I don’t know what they are going to do. I have nothing agreed with anyone.”
When will Lionel Messi debut at Inter Miami and how much will tickets cost?
Rumor prices of Messi’s matches for Inter Miami have skyrocketed. Messi will join the club on July 5, when the league’s second transfer window opens.
Inter Miami will travel to DC United on July 8, but Messi is not guaranteed to play at Audi Field.
That hasn’t stopped fans from taking a gamble, with tickets to DC’s next home league game against Real Salt Lake available from Ticketmaster (the club’s official ticketing partner) for as low as $29. But when you visit Miami, the cheapest ticket is $186 with no fees at the time of writing. More than 4,500 tickets have been sold since the announcement.
A trip to San Luis on July 15 follows, with cup matches against Cruz Azul on July 21 and Atlanta on July 25, other possible options to see the legendary player in action. A potential MLS home debut will likely have to wait until August 20 when Miami plays Charlotte.