Inter Miami CF - Who are they? Why did Messi choose them?
The captivating story of Inter Miami CF, a rising star in the world of Major League Soccer (MLS), is one worth telling, at least since Lionel Messi joined the club. The same way the club made 2 million followers 1 day after the announcement, now most of us own a pink t-shirt and call it soccer all of a sudden. It's the Messi effect, so let's dig in!
What's the story of Inter Miami CF?
Inter Miami CF, founded in 2018, is the brainchild of soccer icon David Beckham, who envisioned bringing top-tier soccer back to the city of Miami. The team made their debut in the MLS in 2020, and since then, they have captured the imagination of fans with their ambitious goals and dedicated approach.
The journey of Inter Miami CF has been a rollercoaster ride, filled with highs and lows. In their inaugural season, they faced numerous challenges, adapting to the demands of the MLS while building a cohesive team. Led by their head coach, an experienced tactician, Inter Miami CF slowly found their footing and showcased glimpses of their potential.
In their second season, the team made significant strides in their pursuit of success. They strengthened their squad with the addition of key players, both young talents and seasoned veterans, bringing a perfect balance to their lineup. The team's attacking force became a force to be reckoned with, with skilled strikers and creative midfielders linking up seamlessly on the field.
Inter Miami CF quickly became known for their attractive style of play, emphasizing possession-based football, intricate passing, and incisive runs. Their ability to dominate matches and create scoring opportunities mesmerized the fans and had opponents scrambling to find a solution.
Off the field, Inter Miami CF continued to make waves. The club established a state-of-the-art training facility, boasting world-class amenities, and a vibrant youth academy, nurturing talented young players and ensuring a bright future for the team. Their commitment to developing soccer in the local community has made them a beloved institution in Miami.
How did David Beckham found the Inter Miami CF?
Inter Miami CF was founded by the renowned former English professional footballer, David Beckham. After an illustrious career that included playing for top clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, and LA Galaxy, Beckham expressed his desire to bring professional soccer back to Miami, Florida.
In 2014, Beckham exercised his option to purchase an MLS expansion team for a discounted price of $25 million as part of his original contract with LA Galaxy. This option was granted to him when he joined the league in 2007. Beckham's vision was to establish a world-class soccer franchise in Miami and contribute to the growth of the sport in the United States.
However, the journey to establish Inter Miami CF was not without its challenges. The search for a suitable stadium site took several years, facing opposition and obstacles along the way. Eventually, in 2018, the club announced plans for a privately funded stadium and complex known as Miami Freedom Park, which would serve as the home for Inter Miami CF.
Beckham, along with a group of high-profile investors, including businessmen Marcelo Claure and Jorge Mas, worked tirelessly to bring the team to fruition. Their dedication, along with the support of the local community, resulted in the successful launch of Inter Miami CF as an expansion team in the MLS in 2020.
With Beckham's star power, experience, and influence in the soccer world, he played a pivotal role in not only founding the club but also in attracting top players and establishing Inter Miami CF as a prominent force in Major League Soccer. His ambition to create a legacy in Miami and his passion for the sport have been instrumental in shaping the club's journey and aspirations for the future.
Who were, until now, the top players of Inter Miami CF?
Inter Miami CF, although a relatively young club, has already attracted some top players who have left their mark on the team's history. Let's take a brief look at a few notable players who have graced the Inter Miami CF jersey:
Gonzalo Higuaín: The Argentine forward joined Inter Miami CF in 2020, bringing with him a wealth of experience and a prolific goal-scoring record. Higuaín previously played for renowned clubs like Real Madrid, Napoli, and Juventus. Known for his clinical finishing, Higuaín has been a key figure in Inter Miami CF's attack, providing goals and leadership on the field.
Blaise Matuidi: Matuidi, a French midfielder, joined Inter Miami CF in 2020 from Italian giants Juventus. With an impressive resume that includes winning multiple domestic titles and the FIFA World Cup with France in 2018, Matuidi's tenacity and work rate in midfield have been invaluable for the team. His experience and leadership qualities have made him an important figure in the squad.
Rodolfo Pizarro: Pizarro, a Mexican attacking midfielder, was one of the first marquee signings for Inter Miami CF, joining the club in 2020. He arrived from Liga MX side Monterrey, where he had enjoyed success, winning multiple domestic and international titles. Pizarro's technical skills, creativity, and ability to unlock defenses have made him a fan favorite and a key playmaker for Inter Miami CF
Matías Pellegrini: Pellegrini, an Argentine winger, was one of the inaugural signings for Inter Miami CF in 2019. He arrived from Argentine club Estudiantes and became the team's first-ever designated player. Pellegrini showcased his potential with his pace, dribbling ability, and goal-scoring prowess. While he has since moved on to play for Fort Lauderdale CF, the club's USL League One affiliate, his contribution in the early stages of Inter Miami CF's journey should not be forgotten
These are just a few of the notable players who have, until now, graced the Inter Miami CF jersey.
What made Messi chose Inter Miami CF?
Lionel Messi's stunning move from Paris Saint-Germain to join Inter Miami, an MLS club in the United States, sent shockwaves through the soccer world. After the official announcement was made, the Argentine superstar shared his reasons for choosing the U.S. as his next career destination.
"After winning the World Cup and being unable to return to Barcelona, it felt like the right time for me to experience football in a different way and enjoy the day-to-day aspects more," Messi revealed to Spanish publications Mundo Deportivo and Sport, as reported by ESPN. "Of course, with the same responsibility and desire to perform well and succeed, as always, but in a more relaxed environment."
Having spent the last two seasons at PSG, Messi brings with him a remarkable legacy from his celebrated 17-year tenure at Barcelona, where he guided the club to four UEFA Champions League titles. Now, at the age of 35, he arrives in Miami adorned with an astonishing seven Ballon d'Or trophies, awarded annually to the world's best player.
While several clubs, including Saudi Arabian Pro League's Al Hilal, pursued Messi alongside Barcelona, the legendary forward emphasized that his decision to choose Miami wasn't driven by financial considerations.
"If it was solely about money, I could have gone to Saudi Arabia or elsewhere," Messi stated. "They offered me a significant sum of money. However, my ultimate decision was based on other factors, not financial ones."
Inter Miami CF: A Rising Star in MLS
And now, here we are, witnessing a pivotal moment in the history of Inter Miami CF. With the leadership of two of the greatest players of all times, one on the board and the other one on the field, Inter Miami is getting ready to take on the world!