In 2007, David Beckham changed the soccer landscape in the United States by signing for Los Angeles Galaxy. Now, over 15 years later, Beckham could bring the world’s biggest soccer star to North America. Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina superstar, Lionel Messi, is in talks with the Beckham-owned Inter Miami to join the soccer club.
Inter Miami are one of the 29 top-tier soccer clubs competing in the US and Canada’s Major League Soccer. The league began play in 1996 and has had a list of who’s who players over the years, including Beckham. However, no player to play in MLS has had the gravitas as Messi, and the Argentina legend could further alter the sports landscape in the US.
Soccer fans are watching the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and Messi is aiming to lead Argentina to the trophy. Fans can enjoy online betting with bet365 to wager on the World Cup’s matches.
Messi’s current contract with Paris Saint-Germain will expire in the summer of 2023, making him the biggest soccer free agent in the world. The player won’t have a shortage of offers to join new teams even at the age of 35 (Messi turns 36 in June 2023).
The only barrier to teams attempting to sign Messi in the offseason is the player’s wages. According to Spanish sports media outlet Marca, Messi makes €41 million (approx. $42 million) after taxes and a percentage of his salary is paid in cryptocurrencies. The forward also receives a loyalty bonus.
Beckham’s Inter Miami are one of the few teams that could land the Argentine. The club would need to wait until the European soccer offseason (Europe plays autumn to spring, while MLS is spring to autumn) to sign Messi on a free transfer. Signing Messi in the summer would mean he would likely only play half the MLS season. Still, adding Messi and all that comes with it would be a huge coup for MLS.
Paris Saint-Germain are hoping to hang onto Messi for at least one more season. There is an option for Messi to remain with the French team, but both parties would need to agree on a one-year extension. MLS and Inter Miami would need Messi to join the club as a free agent. The player’s transfer price (the amount Inter Miami would need to pay Paris to sign Messi) is far too high for the American club.
Of all the MLS teams, Inter Miami makes the most sense for Messi. The player owns a property in the south Florida city and regularly visits when the soccer season allows. It is claimed Inter Miami are confident Messi will sign a contract with the club even before his Paris deal ends in the summer.
Beckham famously signed a pre-contract with Los Angeles Galaxy in January 2007 with five months of the Spanish La Liga season remaining. Beckham joined the California club from Spain’s Real Madrid and helped the world-famous team to the La Liga title before exiting.