Soccer surprise: Lionel Messi announces he would sign with Miami's MLS franchise

Lionel Messi says he will join Miami's MLS team

MIAMI — Lionel Messi has accomplished yet another amazing achievement by joining Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.

MIAMI — Lionel Messi has accomplished yet another amazing achievement by joining Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.

Messi has confirmed his choice to join a Miami team that has been coached by another legendary football figure, David Beckham, since its formation but has not yet made any meaningful waves on the pitch after months, if not years, of rum ours.

That most likely will alter shortly. Shortly before Messi made his choice public in talks with the Spanish news agencies Mundo Deportivo and Sport, one of Inter Miami's owners, Jorge Mas, tweeted a picture of a darkly silhouetted Messi shirt.

There was widespread speculation that Messi will eventually decide to sign with Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia, following longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo to a country where several teams are now supported by the state's sovereign wealth fund. Another option was to return to Barcelona, the legendary team where he played for the most of his career.

But in the end, he made the decision that shocked a lot of people. Messi is moving to the MLS. Although certain last-minute arrangements still need to be sorted out, he indicated in the interviews on Wednesday that he has decided to "continue my path" in Miami.

Messi stated that it was his turn to travel to the American league in order to experience football in a different way after winning the World Cup and not being able to return to Barcelona.

The money wasn't taken by him. The recollections weren't his to pick. Instead, he chose Miami. Messi's upcoming games are likely to be exhibitions with Argentina against Australia on June 15 in Beijing and against Indonesia on June 18 in Jakarta. Messi's Inter Miami debut is anticipated to be sometime in July.

After spending two years at Paris Saint-Germain, the seven-time winner of the Ballon d'Or, which is awarded annually to the world's finest player, makes his transfer. Messi completed the single big unchecked box on his résumé in December by guiding Argentina to the World Cup victory, therefore at the age of 35, he has nothing more to prove in the game.

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One of the best goal scorers in the history of the game, Messi has scored more than 800 goals across his club and national team careers. He has scored 102 goals in more than 17 years of playing for Argentina against 38 different national teams, with 16 of those goals coming on American territory. Last year's World Cup final between Argentina and France, which officially finished 3-3 but Argentina won on penalties, saw him score twice.

He has reached the very peak of the competition.

And now he joins an MLS team in last place in the Eastern Conference, only a few days after Phil Neville, the team's hand-picked coach from two years ago, was fired.

The largest boost for American football on the professional level may have ever come from Messi's choice to play in the United States. Pele, Thierry Henry, and Beckham himself are some of the greatest names in the game who have relocated to the United States towards the end of their careers, but bringing in a player who is still no worse than near the top of his game and who has just lifted a World Cup is just enormous.

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