Lionel Messi's recent move to Inter Miami has set the footballing world on fire, but how much do you know about the Argentinian superstar and his recent move to Inter Miami? This article will tell you everything you need to know about Messi, including his past and what has made his move to Inter Miami such a unique proposition.
Messi's Career Before Inter Miami
To understand Messi's move to Inter Miami, it's necessary first to know where he came from and the obstacles he had to overcome to become the best of all time. So, if you’re one of the many self-confessed footy fanatics who want to know more about La Pulga (The Flea), you're in luck because we'll tell you everything you need to know.
Early Beginnings in Rosario
Born in Rosario, Argentina, the young Messi struggled with his height — many doubted whether he could make it as a professional, which he may not have been able to do without the help of growth therapy. It was never easy for Messi, but his quality was always there, and those around him knew he could win big if he could add a few inches to his height.
Becoming a Star at Barcelona
Luckily, Messi was able to receive some help with his size after leaving his native Argentina after signing for Barcelona, where he quickly rose through the youth ranks to make his debut as a teenager, having a near-instant impact, going on to become one of the best players in the world within just a few short years. Messi likely would have ended his career at Barcelona, too, had it not been for financial issues within the Catalan club that resulted in them being unable to register his contract extension back in 2021.
An Unexpected Move to Paris
Following his turbulent exit from Barcelona, there was intense speculation that he could switch to the United States. Ultimately, Paris Saint Germain won the race, partly due to their immense financial strength. While it took time for Messi to adjust to life in Paris, he quickly found form in a more creative role, building a solid relationship with former teammate Neymar and up-and-coming wonderkid Kylian Mbappe. That being said, he still never quite settled in Paris.
Going for Gold With Argentina
Despite being somewhat unsettled in Paris, Messi didn't let this impact his form for the national team, playing a starring role as they won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. And while Messi doesn't have the same output as he once did at his peak, scoring over 100 goals in a calendar year, he has always sparked for his national team, even if fans grew frustrated with their prolonged inability to win anything of significance, that was until winning the 2021 Copa America and the 2022 World Cup, their first world title since 1986.
Messi's Move to Inter Miami
With Messi's contract being up in Paris and him and PSG never quite settling, even if he did have a productive second season, there were many rumors that he could join the recent exodus of talent to Saudi Arabia. While stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, and Neymar have all made the move to Arabia this summer, it never looked like it was suitable for Messi, with a move to the largely Spanish-speaking Miami peninsula being the preferable option, even if the financial package wasn't as prominent.
Once Messi's move to Inter Miami was confirmed, there were rumors regarding the details of his contract. As per comments from Jorge Mas, a part owner of the Inter Miami franchise, Messi will earn around $60 million per season, which is far less than the $400 million per season he was offered by Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia. That's a testament to how much more appealing the move to Miami was, where Messi will be able to live a more 'normal' life and easily travel back home and speak Spanish daily.
While the $60 million per season that Messi will be earning is a colossal amount, this will reportedly include a base salary, a stake in the team, and a signing bonus. At the same time, Apple will also share some of the profits generated from non-domestic MLS streaming subscribers that joined in the post-Messi period, owing to the increased interest in United States soccer.
Messi in Miami
Messi’s move to Miami might not be as financially lucrative as a potential love to Saudi Arabia, but this move will help build equity in his brand, which will last far longer than his playing career. As well as owning a stake in the club, Messi will also allegedly receive payments from Apple because of the increased number of international MLS viewers. While the money is good, Miami seems like the right move, primarily because Messi will be able to speak Spanish freely and easily commute to and from Argentina.