Messi in Miami?
The name Messi immediately conjures memories of great achievements for FC Barcelona, but if David Beckham were to have his way, Lionel Messi might be coming to the MLS sooner than you think. After an effort that’s years in the making, David Beckham finally announced that he is founding a new MLS franchise in Miami, aptly named Inter Miami, due to play its inaugural season in 2020. And as with all new clubs, Beckham wants to start off with a bang by bringing in arguably the world’s best player.
Obviously, this is a long shot. Messi has never played for a club other than FC Barcelona during his entire senior career, and he’s previously said that the only club he would leave Barcelona for would be his boyhood club San Lorenzo in Argentina. Also, the idea of a player of Messi’s caliber leaving Europe and going to the MLS is pretty farfetched. Finally, there’s the not-so-small obstacle of the price that Inter Miami would have to pay in order to pry Messi away from Barcelona’s clutches, an amount that undoubtedly would reach well above $100 million, which would smash the MLS transfer record.
However, the payoff for such a move is unmistakable. Having Lionel Messi playing in the United States of America would immediately boost the league’s profile and would attract all sorts of top-flight talent stateside in the hopes of playing against Messi. In order to accomplish all of this, though, the financial hurdles to overcome would be immense: the aforementioned transfer fee, the pay structure, which would in turn change the pay structure of every MLS franchise, and more. However, this would likely be offset by the crazy amounts of money that Messi himself would bring just with his mere presence: ticket sales, merchandise sales, TV rights sales, etc.
If David Beckham could manage to get this done, it’d be amazing, but the odds are certainly not in his favor at the moment.