Football great Lionel Messi has officially joined Inter Miami CF, the club confirmed on Saturday, adding that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and World Cup champion has signed a contract that will extend to Major League Soccer until 2025. (MLS) season.
“I am honored to welcome Leo Messi and his family to their new home,” said Jorge Mas, Managing Owner of Inter Miami CF.
“In 2018, we promised to build an ambitious club that would attract the world’s elite players. A club that would change the global outlook on soccer in the United States and ensure that wherever soccer is discussed, your Inter Miami be part of the conversation.
“A heartfelt thank you to our fans who never stopped believing. Together we will continue to turn dreams into reality.”
Meanwhile, Messi too is looking forward to the next chapter in his life.
“I am very excited to start the next step in my career with Inter Miami and in the United States,” said the footballer.
“It is a fantastic opportunity and we will continue to build this beautiful project together. The idea is to work together to achieve the objectives we have set out and I am very much looking forward to starting helping in our new home here Am.”
Messi is to be unveiled by Inter Miami on Sunday (today), with Argentina expected to make his debut in their League Cup opener against Cruz Azul on July 21.
“We are very pleased that the world’s greatest player has chosen Inter Miami CF and Major League Soccer, and their decision is a testament to the momentum and energy behind our league and our game in North America,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
“We have no doubt that Lionel will show the world that MLS can be the league of choice for the best players in the game. We look forward to seeing him start for Inter Miami in our League Cup tournament later this month. “
Messi’s long list of achievements includes three FIFA Best 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 accolades, eight Pichichi Trophies and 15 Argentine Footballer of the Year awards.
The 36-year-old has won the UEFA Champions League four times, one 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.
The former FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star also holds the record for most goals in a calendar year, scoring 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 La Liga goals in a season (50), most UEFA Champions League group stage goals (80) 16 goals in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 (29), and scoring in the UEFA Champions League in the most consecutive seasons (18).