Lionel Messi Completes Transfer to Inter Miami, Brings Major Star Power to MLS

Lionel Messi has officially joined Major League Soccer (MLS) team Inter Miami. The Argentine forward has signed a contract for two-and-a-half seasons, with a possible extension for another year in the 2026 season. The team posted a video on Twitter of Messi donning the No. 10 shirt on Saturday, confirming the news once the deal was approved by MLS. Messi will be officially introduced to fans at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with an event scheduled for Sunday evening. He will be available for selection in the opening match of Leagues Cup against LIGA MX side Cruz Azul on July 21.

Expressing his excitement, Messi stated, “I’m very excited to start this next step in my career with Inter Miami and in the United States. This is a fantastic opportunity, and together we will continue to build this beautiful project. The idea is to work together to achieve the objectives we set, and I’m very eager to start helping here in my new home.” Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham, who has always dreamt of signing a player like Messi, said, “That dream came true. I couldn’t be prouder that a player of Leo’s caliber is joining our club. The next phase of our adventure starts here, and I can’t wait to see Leo take to the pitch.”

The 36-year-old’s move to MLS comes after his departure from Paris Saint-Germain. Despite interest from his former club Barcelona and Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal, Messi was determined to join MLS. The deal was a month-long process that included additional clauses and terms not typically found in MLS player agreements. One notable addition is Messi’s equity share in Inter Miami, which he will receive upon completing his playing career. Miami owner Jorge Mas expects the total package to be worth approximately $50-60 million per year.

Messi, who has been on holiday with his family in the Bahamas, arrived at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport on July 11. He will reunite with his former boss Tata Martino at Inter Miami, as Martino was appointed the team’s head coach in June.

The MLS transfer window opened on July 5, and Messi is expected to make his debut for Miami against Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup on July 21. The team has already sold out tickets for that match. Looking ahead, Miami’s next MLS home game will take place on August 20 against Charlotte FC.

With regards to his jersey number, Messi will likely wear his iconic No. 10 for Miami, which the club has kept vacant this season in hopes of his arrival.