Inter Miami CF today announced the signing of seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and World Cup 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 will run 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 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 fútbol in the United States and ensure that wherever fútbol is discussed, your Inter Miami is part of the conversation. A heartfelt thank you to our fans that never stopped believing. Together we will continue to turn dreams into reality.”
“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,” said Co-Owner, David Beckham. “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.”
"I'm very excited to start this next step in my career with Inter Miami and in the United States," said Messi. "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."
“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,” 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 first be available for selection for Inter Miami CF when they take on LIGA MX side, Cruz Azul in the July 21 opening match of Leagues Cup, a new North American soccer tournament in which 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 US will compete in the World Cup-style, official Concacaf tournament. A limited number of tickets are still available for the match on July 21 and can be purchased here. Four days later, the Club will take on Atlanta United in their second match of the Leagues Cup competition. Tickets for the match against Atlanta United on July 25 are available for purchase 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 that is available in more than 100 countries and regions. MLS Season Pass can be accessed on the Apple TV app on smart TVs, streaming devices, Apple devices, set-top boxes, and game consoles, as well as on the web at tv.apple.com.
“This is a historic moment for Inter Miami, MLS, and fútbol 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 best player of all time which has, naturally, led us to design an unprecedented agreement in the sporting world. We’re tremendously proud to have been able to present Leo with an extraordinary project that we’re sure will be beneficial for all of the parties involved.”
“Lionel Messi is an incomparable talent. What he brings on and off the field will elevate everyone around him and we’re excited to have him at Inter Miami,” said Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director Chris Henderson.
Messi’s list of personal accolades 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 claimed three UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Awards, six European Golden Shoes, six La Liga Best Player recognitions, 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 one Trophée des Champions. On the international stage, Messi guided Argentina to the 2021 CONMEBOL Copa América title and 2022 CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions, and further cemented his legacy by leading his country to a historic 2022 FIFA World Cup title.
In addition to the titles and personal accolades, Messi also holds several records across several different competitions. Famously, he holds the record for most goals scored in a calendar year, netting an astounding 91 times in 2012. He also holds the records for the most goals in Europe’s top five leagues (496), most La Liga goals (474), most 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 successive seasons scoring in UEFA Champions League (18). For Argentina, Messi holds the records for most caps (175), most goals (103), and most World Cup goals (13), while also holding the international record for most World Cup match appearances (26) and being the only player to score in the World Cup group stage, round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and final.
Messi played the majority of his club career with FC Barcelona, coming through the youth ranks and going on to feature for the senior team across 17 seasons. The legendary playmaker made 780 appearances for the team, scoring 672 goals and registering 291 assists in the process. His appearance and goal tallies both rank first among all players in the history of the club.
Following his history-making stint with Barcelona, Messi featured for Paris Saint-Germain in France for two seasons. He made 75 appearances for the team across all competitions, tallying 32 goals and 35 assists. Most recently, he starred for the team last season, being voted Ligue 1 Best Foreign Player of the Season after scoring 16 league goals and adding 16 league assists; these totals were good for second on the team in goals, second in total goal contributions and first in assists.
Born in Rosario, Argentina, Messi has made 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, shattering records in the process. Overall, he has made 175 appearances for the team thus far, registering 103 goals and 56 assists.
Notably, Messi was previously by 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 Argentine national team.
TRANSACTION: Inter Miami CF signs Lionel Messi to a contract running 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