The Argentine was greeted like a messiah on Sunday night, but even the World Cup winner could struggle to revive the worst team in MLS
Lionel Messi’s unveiling as an Inter Miami player on Sunday night didn’t quite go according to plan. The inclement weather conditions forced not only a delay – but also journalists and fans to take shelter from the storm wherever they could.
However, not even torrential rain could dampen the spirits of the more than 20,000 people in attendance at the DRV PNK Stadium. As far as co-owner Jorge Mas was concerned, it was only fitting that the heavens opened. “This is holy water!” he told the delighted crowd.The message was clear: Miami’s messiah had arrived. The greatest player of all time will be lining out for the worst team in MLS – which is just so surreal that it feels like something of a miracle, testament to work the done by Mas, his brother Jose and David Beckham and their unwavering faith in their ability to pull off the biggest transfer in American soccer history.
This was Beckham’s goal all along, from the moment he and his team negotiated the option to purchase a future expansion team for just $25 million (£19m) when he stunned the world by signing for LA Galaxy in 2007.
“I have always said, from the word go, that if I had the opportunity to bring the best players in the game to Miami, at whatever time of their careers, I would do that,” he recently explained at a ‘Lessons in Leadership’ seminar. “I have always made that commitment to our fans, so [Messi’s signing] is a massive moment for us.”
Indeed, Beckham was beaming as he welcomed the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner onto the stage in Miami on Sunday night. He looked just as excited as all of the club’s fans as he took in a video featuring US sports stars such as Tom Brady and Steph Curry wishing fellow living legend Messi all the best in his American adventure.
“Like all of you, I cannot wait to see Leo take the field in our colours,” Beckham gushed. “Ladies and gentlemen, the next chapter of our story starts here!” But so too does the hard work, at least from a sporting perspective.