Inter Miami CF today announced the signing of seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and world champion, Lionel Messi. The Argentine superstar, who will occupy a Designated Player slot, is expected to join the team in the coming days and his contract runs through the 2025 Major League Soccer (MLS) season.
“I am honored to welcome Leo Messi and his family to their new home,” said Inter Miami CF’s managing owner, Jorge Mas. “In 2018, we made a promise to build an ambitious club that would attract the world’s elite players. A club that would transform the global view of soccer in the United States and ensure that wherever soccer is discussed, your Inter Miami is part of the conversation. A heartfelt thank you to our fans who never stopped believing. Together, we will continue to make dreams come true.”
“Ten years ago, when I started my journey to build a new team in Miami, I said that I dreamed of bringing the best players in the world to this amazing city. Players who shared the ambition I had then I came to LA Galaxy to help grow soccer in the United States and to build a legacy for the next generation in the sport we love so much,” said co-owner David Beckham. “Today that dream came true. I couldn’t be prouder to have a player of Leo’s caliber join our club, but I’m also delighted to welcome a good friend, an amazing person and his beautiful family to our Inter Miami community. The next phase of our adventure starts here and I can’t wait to see Leo take to the pitch.”
“I am very excited to start this next step in my career with Inter Miami and in the United States,” Messi said. “This is a great opportunity and together we will continue to build this beautiful project. The idea is to work together to achieve the goals we have set and I am very eager to start helping here in my new home .”
“We are beyond thrilled that the best 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,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “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 will only be available for selection for Inter Miami CF when they take on LIGA MX side Cruz Azul in the opening match on July 21 League Cup, a new North American soccer tournament where MLS and LIGA MX will pause their respective league seasons from July 21 to August 19 to determine the three clubs that will qualify for the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup. All 47 first division clubs in Canada , Mexico and the United States will compete in the official World Cup-style Concacaf tournament. There are still a limited number of tickets for the match on July 21 and can be purchased here. Four days later, the club will take on Atlanta United in their second leg of the Leagues Cup competition. Tickets for the match against Atlanta United on July 25 can be purchased here.
Fans around the world can watch Messi, Inter Miami and all the action on MLS Season Pass, the subscription service from Apple and Major League Soccer, available in more than 100 countries and regions. The MLS Season Pass can be accessed on the Apple TV app on smart TVs, streaming devices, Apple devices, set-top boxes and game consoles, and online at tv.apple.com.
“This is a historic moment for Inter Miami, MLS and soccer in the United States, both on the sporting side and in this new era of business opportunities,” said Xavier Asensi, Inter Miami CF Chief Business Officer. “Lionel is the greatest player of all time, which naturally led us to design an unprecedented deal in the world of sports. We are immensely proud to have been able to present Leo with an extraordinary project that we are sure will be benefit for all parties involved.”
“Lionel Messi is an incomparable talent. What he brings on and off the pitch will lift everyone around him and we are delighted to have him at Inter Miami,” said Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director Chris Henderson.
Messi’s list of personal honors includes a record seven Ballon d’Or titles, three The Best FIFA Men’s Player awards and two FIFA World Cup Golden Balls – making him the only player to win the award twice. He has also won three UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Awards, six European Golden Shoes, six La Liga Best Player Awards, eight Pichichi Trophies and 15 Argentine Footballer of the Year awards.
The 36-year-old Argentine has also lifted dozens of team trophies to this point in his career. Notably, Messi has won the UEFA Champions League four times, an Olympic gold medal, three FIFA Club World Cups, 10 La Liga titles, two Ligue 1 titles, seven Copa del Rey titles and a Trophée des Champions. On the international stage, Messi guided Argentina to the 2021 CONMEBOL Copa América title and the 2022 CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions, further cementing his legacy by leading his country to a historic 2022 FIFA World Cup title.
Apart from the titles and personal accolades, Messi also holds several records across several different competitions. He famously holds the record for most goals scored in a calendar year, scoring an astonishing 91 times in 2012. He also holds the records for most goals in Europe’s top five leagues (496), most La Liga goals (474), most goals . La Liga goals in a single season (50), most UEFA Champions League group stage goals (80), most UEFA Champions League round of 16 goals (29) and most consecutive seasons scored in the UEFA Champions League (18). For Argentina, Messi holds the records for most caps (175), most goals (103) and most World Cup goals (13), while he also holds the international record for most World Cup appearances (26) and is the only player to score in World Cup group stage, round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
Messi played the majority of his club career with FC Barcelona, coming through the youth ranks and going on to play for the senior team for 17 seasons. The legendary playmaker played 780 games for the team, scoring 672 goals and registering 291 assists in the process. His appearance and goals tally both rank first among all players in the club’s history.
After his history-making stint with Barcelona, Messi played for Paris Saint-Germain in France for two seasons. He played 75 games for the team across all competitions, scoring 32 goals and providing 35 assists. He most recently starred for the team last season, being named the Ligue 1 Foreign Player of the Season after scoring 16 league goals and adding 16 assists in the league; those totals were good for second on the team in goals, second in total assists and first in assists.
Messi was born in Rosario in Argentina and has written history for his national team. In addition to captaining La Albiceleste to the team’s historic 2021 CONMEBOL Copa América and 2022 FIFA World Cup titles, he led the team for nearly two decades, breaking records in the process. Overall, he has played 175 games for the team so far, registering 103 goals and 56 assists.
Notably, Messi was previously managed by Inter Miami CF head coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino during two separate stints – with FC Barcelona in the 2013-14 campaign, winning the 2013 Supercopa de España, and between 2014 and 2016 with the Argentina national team.
TRANSACTION: Inter Miami CF signs Lionel Messi to a contract that runs through the 2025 Major League Soccer (MLS) season.
Name: Lionel Messi
Pronunciation: lee-o-nel meh-see
Weight: 150 lbs
Birthplace: Rosario, Argentina
Hometown: Rosario, Argentina