Lionel Messi This Sunday he received all the love from his new fans of the Miami Interwho endured a strong storm to see the man who promises to revolutionize soccer in the United States.
The Argentine star took advantage of his first words to thank them for the love received since he landed in Florida on Tuesday. “Thank you very much to all the people for supporting me”, Messi said before the near 20,000 viewers who had come to the stadium DRV PNK of Fort Lauderdaleabout 50 km north of Miami.
“I really want to start training, to compete. I have the same desire that I always had to win, to help the club continue to grow,” added the Inter Miami number 10 after posing with his new shirt in hand.
The two co-owners of the club, Jorge Mas and David Beckham, received Messi on a stage located in the center of the field. The former English international, visibly moved, assured that the arrival of Messi was “a dream come true”. “Welcome to our family,” he added in Spanish.
The fans shouted, chanted the name of their new idol and filled the pink Inter Miami stands, despite the storm that postponed the presentation for two hours. The family of the 10 from Rosario was also invited to be part of the event and they paraded onto the stage. Antonela, Thiago, Mateo and Ciro they were cheered when they reached the stage and Ciro, who is still recovering from the fracture he suffered more than a month ago in his left arm, appeared with an Argentine flag painted on his plaster.
Messi, winner of seven Ballon d’Ors, four Champions League with Barcelona and the 2022 World Cup with Argentina, will now play for a team without any notable achievement in Major League Soccer (the main league of the United States and Canada ) and who occupies the last place in the current championship.
At the age of 36, and after two complex seasons at Paris Saint-Germain, the Albiceleste captain leaves European football for the first time to spend his perhaps last seasons on the pitch in an environment with less sporting pressure.
Although he will now follow the top club competitions from afar, Messi is expected in the United States and in Miami, a city with a huge Latino community whose movements have been followed in detail since he landed on Tuesday.
“I am very happy to have chosen to come to play in this city with my family, to choose this project and I have no doubt that we are going to enjoy it a lot, We are going to have a good time and very nice things are going to happen“Messi said before bidding farewell to his audience.
The musical show to honor Messi
Baptized as “The Unveil” (The Revelation) and broadcast worldwide on Apple TV +, the event included fireworks, a video of Messi and his family and the presentation of the former Spanish international Sergio Busquetswho played with the Argentine in Barcelona and will once again be a teammate of La Pulga.
“I’m very happy to be here in Miami. And I’m looking forward to start training and playing with my teammates,” said Busquets, who also held up his new number five jersey.
After Messi’s speech, the Colombian sang Camilo, winner of four Latin Grammys in 2021, the first performance of a concert organized for the presentation of the star. then the party started Breshthere was a show from the Argentine Tiago PZK and continued with the Cordoba paulo londrabefore a final with the Puerto Rican ozuna.
Thiago’s spout to his dad
After the main show, Messi stayed on the playing field and watched as his sons and other children played soccer. While As he greeted the public distractedly, Thiago, the eldest of his sons, took advantage of the moment to pass the ball between his legs, making a pipe that was celebrated by the spectators and caused laughter from both.
Lionel’s full speech and words of thanks
“Thank you very much good night. First of all I want to thank all the people of Miami for this welcome and this love since I arrived in the city, the truth is that I am very excited and happy to be here in Miami with you”, began Messi.
“I obviously want to thank Jorge, José, David, his family for the welcome, the love these days, for making us feel at home so quickly, making everything easy for us, it was spectacular for us since we arrived,” he acknowledged.
Along these lines, he clarified: “I want to start training and start competing. I come here with the usual desire to compete and want to win. Of wanting to help the club so that it continues to grow. I hope that during all this time you will continue to accompany us, as you have been accompanying us since the season began. Personally, I have no doubt that with my teammates we will always give our best to try to achieve all the objectives”.
Lastly, he said: “I take this opportunity to thank my colleagues who are present here, for their love and welcome from day one as well. I am very happy to have chosen to come to this city with my family and to have chosen this project. And I have no doubt that we are going to enjoy a lot, we are going to have a good time and very nice things are going to happen, thank you all very much for this day”.
An opportunity for Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer now has the great global icon that should symbolize the takeoff of local soccer, in a period in which the United States will host the 2024 Copa América, the 2025 Club World Cup and the 2026 World Cup, co-organized together to Mexico and Canada.
“It is clear that Messi is going to change to MLS. Other players are going to arrive now,” Sergio “Kun” Agüero, his friend and former teammate in the Argentine national team, who lives in Miami, told Apple TV. “Leo is the right player for MLS and to try to motivate other players to want to come,” he added.
Messi’s first press conference, scheduled for Monday, was postponed and the star will start training on Tuesday under the command of his compatriot Gerardo Martino. “Tata”, his former coach at Barcelona and the Argentine National Team, made his debut on the bench on Saturday with a 3-0 defeat against St. Louis City. That loss placed Inter last among the 29 teams in MLS, with 18 points from 22 games.
The Florida team hopes to straighten the course and fight to qualify for the playoffs with the arrival of Messi and Busquets, in addition to some other reinforcement that they are negotiating like that of the former Barcelona defender, Jordi Alba.
MLS now enters a month-long recess for its teams to compete alongside those of the Mexican league in the revamped League Cupon whose opening day on July 21 Messi is expected to play his first minutes in Inter’s pink jersey, against Cruz Azul.