Since signing Argentine superstar Lionel Messi just a month ago, Inter Miami’s performance has skyrocketed, culminating in the club winning their first trophy last week. Inter Miami won the Leagues Cup, beating Nashville SC via penalties 10-9 with fans hoping that many more trophies are to come due to their recent success.
After his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expired at the end of June, Messi joined Inter Miami in July, turning down a €400m (£344m) offer from Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal as well as rumors of him returning to his former club Barcelona. The seven time Ballon d’Or winner and World Cup champion signed a contract in the US that will run until 2025. Messi’s impact on the club has been evident since his debut match with the team in which he scored the winning goal against Cruz Azul of LIGA MX, leading the club to a 2-1 victory.
Lionel Messi was warmly welcomed by the club’s co-owner, David Beckam, England and Manchester United legend who described the player as a “good friend (and) an amazing person” while Messi himself said it is a “fantastic opportunity”.
This marks the first time that the 36-year old striker has played in an official club competition in North America, having won titles in Spain and France. His transfer to the club also makes him the 14th World Cup Winner to play in MLS since Brazilian Defender Branco who joined the NY/NJ MetroStars in 1997 as Argentina were recently victorious in the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Messi’s impact on the team can be seen through the millions of football jerseys and other merchandise with his name on that have been sold since he joined the club in July. Adidas recently signed a 10 year contract to supply all of MLS teams’ uniforms which is valued at $830 million dollars, with Messi’s jerseys selling out already.
The club was founded in 2018 by David Beckham and brothers Jorge and Jose Mas, its Instagram account has now reached 14.3 million followers, which is more than any team in the NFL, NHL or MLB.
Prior to Messi joining the team, Inter Miami were suffering a poor season with just five wins in 16 matches and were bottom of the fifteen-team Eastern Conference. However, since Messi signed to the club just a month ago, the club has won all seven of its matches through three of them were through penalties. Messi’s 10 goals across these few appearances have boosted the team’s performance drastically
Inter Miami’s win over Nashville SC this weekend not only secured the league title and their first trophy but it marked Messi’s 44th trophy and made him the most decorated player of all time. This presents an exciting future for Inter Miami fans as their recent performance represents a new era for the club as well as for football in the Major Soccer League which has proved its potential to attract global superstars such as Messi.
Messi is currently quoted at odds of 6/1 with bookie Bet365 to be the top goalscorer in the MLS Cup with Inter Miami a general 8/1 to win the MLS Cup outright. A far cry from the odds that would have been offered just a few weeks ago !