Manchester United great David Beckham has lifted the lid on the background to the legendary transfer of superstar Lionel Messi to Beckham’s Inter Miami in June.
Since signing for LA Galaxy in 2007, following a storied career at Manchester United and Real Madrid, it was clear David Beckham had a special interest in the MLS – Major League Soccer.
Therefore, it came as no surprise when it was revealed that his contract allowed him to purchase an MLS franchise for just $25m (£21m) when he retired.
In 2013, he did exactly that, purchasing the newly formed Inter Miami, a club which is now believed to be valued at around $1 billion.
A large factor in this valuation is of course the signing of Barcelona and Paris St Germain superstar Lionel Messi, who is believed to have boosted the value of the club by at least $400m.
But how did Messi end up at Inter Miami?
Beckham recently revealed all, claiming that the club’s pursuit for Messi started 4 years ago.
The Inter Miami owner detailed: “I sneaked into Messi’s dad’s hotel in Barcelona to try and get a meeting with him. I told his dad ‘we want your son we want him to come to Miami when he is ready.'”
However, it wasn’t until years later, when Messi was playing for Paris St Germain, that Beckham and Inter Miami saw their chance to sign the World Cup winner.
Despite high-paying offers from Saudi Arabia, or even a potential return to Barcelona on the cards, according to Beckham “all of sudden everything aligned.”
Whilst Messi didn’t communicate his decision on which club he was joining until his own public announcement on social media, once he had decided, it was a smooth process to secure the biggest signing in MLS history.
This significance was not lost on Beckham, who said “To bring someone like him to club, we knew it would change the club and we knew it would change the league and the sport, it’s beyond that.”
So far, Messi has scored one goal and assisted two others in his four appearances for Inter Miami, and Beckham had nothing but praise for the 36-year-old, claiming “His brain works in different ways, he sees things that other plays just don’t see.”
Despite this, he insisted that Messi isn’t arrogant, instead, he is “just a normal guy with an unbelievable talent.”
More details about the Messi transfer saga are likely to be revealed in the upcoming ‘Messi meets America’ documentary series, set to release its first 3 episodes on October 11 exclusively on Apple TV+.