Is MLS in for a very Messi Miami come 2023? Let’s dive into this week’s transfer rumors and make sense of what’s going on here.
UPDATE 10/31: David Ornstein of The Athletic reports that Inter Miami are “increasingly confident” that they will be able to sign Messi at the end of his PSG contract in June 2023.
UPDATE 5/18: Both Messi’s agents (via Le Parisien) and multiple Inter Miami executives (via The Miami Herald) have denied that any reported deal has been agreed.
Every now and then, you read a report from the wide world of sports that makes you wonder if someone’s playing a truly elaborate prank on you. Right on cue, we were confronted with such a thing this week with an out-of-left-field soccer story regarding Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain footballer Lionel Messi, certifiably one of the greatest athletes of all time.
Well, according to DIRECTV Sports’ Álex Candal, a deal isn’t just possible — it’s been agreed:
If Candal’s reporting comes to fruition — and if you’ve ever followed along with the multiverse of madness known as soccer transfer rumors, you know that’s a BIG if — the former Barcelona icon’s move also includes the acquisition of a 35% ownership stake in Inter Miami CF. Last summer, Sportico estimated the club to be worth $550 million; using their figure, that hypothetical Messi stake would check in at just under $184 million. That number come 2023 will be significantly larger.
Sure, it’s fun to speculate. Sure, such a move would constitute the single most impactful thing ever to happen to MLS since at least Beckham’s own arrival at LA Galaxy in 2007, and likely exceeds it. But before this report gets a lot more corroborated, we really, really need to pump the brakes here.
For now, let’s sift through the rumors and reporting to make sense of this week’s Messi Miami madness and figure out what we really know.
What details regarding Messi to Inter Miami have been reported?
- Messi believes he has accomplished everything he can accomplish in Europe
- He would leave PSG as a free agent in the summer of 2023 to join Inter Miami
- The deal to acquire the 35% ownership stake is in already in the works and would be finalized before he officially joins the team
Word of advice: please take all of this with a grain of salt. There’s an absolute ton of moving parts here, and effectively nothing has been confirmed.
It’s pretty cool to imagine, though.
How did the Messi Miami rumors start?
Rumblings about the GOAT finishing his footballing career in Major League Soccer, as well as specifically in Miami, have persisted for a good few years.
In the past, the player himself has expressed a desire to play in MLS and “experience life” in America with his family. But We haven’t seen a big ol’ bucket of reported details as full as this one.
Doesn’t Messi already have a property in Miami?
Yes — two different ones, actually.
In 2019, Messi reportedly bought an apartment in the Porsche Design Tower in Miami’s Sunny Isles neighborhood. Last year, Messi bought an entire floor of the luxury Regalia condominium complex only to put it up for sale less than half a year later.
Would Messi be the single biggest signing in MLS history?
Are you really asking this question? Go to your room.