What Brought Lionel Messi to Miami? 

Lionel Messi could play soccer anywhere in the world. He chose Miami.

It was July 21, 2023. The game was tied. There was only time for one more play. Lionel Messi stepped up to take a free kick. It was his first game for Inter Miami CF. The stadium was full. Everyone was there to see him. He curved his shot around a wall of opposing players. With the last chance of the game, he scored the winning goal. The crowd went crazy. 

For people that have followed Lionel Messi’s career, this game-winning goal wasn’t surprising. He has scored many last-minute goals. What was so surprising is how he ended up playing soccer for Inter Miami in the first place. 

In December of 2022, Lionel Messi won the World Cup. The following spring, he became a free agent. Every soccer team in the world wanted him to play for them. A team in Saudi Arabia offered to pay him 400 million dollars a year. Barcelona FC, his first professional team, wanted him to return home. So why did he choose to play for the last place team in the United States? 

Inter Miami CF owners David Beckham and Jorge Mas worked hard to convince Messi to come play for them. They told him how great it was to live in Miami. Lionel Messi already had a home there. He was excited about the chance to live there with his family year-round. Beckham, who was a very famous soccer player, let him know that Major League Soccer was growing. Messi would be able to make soccer even more popular in this country. Additionally, the team hired Gerardo Martino, a coach Lionel Messi had worked with before. They agreed to bring several of Messi’s former teammates to the team. They wanted to make sure Lionel Messi enjoyed playing for Inter Miami. 

Inter Miami also worked hard to make a good deal for Lionel Messi. They offered him a large salary. They also got help fro their partners in the league. Apple TV, who broadcasts Major League Soccer games, will share their profits from subscribers with Lionel Messi. Adidas, one of the league’s sponsors, will also share profits with Messi.  

With all this in place, Lionel Messi agreed to play for Inter Miami FC. Now, we’ll see how far he can take them, and soccer in the United States.  

What Do You Think? Do you think Messi will have a big impact on soccer in this country? 

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