David Beckham’s American Dream came true on Friday night when Lionel Messi – arguably the greatest footballer of all time – lined up for his side Inter Miami.
Initially slammed by European football for making the move as a 31-year-old to Los Angeles Galaxy despite lucrative offers from the world’s biggest clubs, the boy from Leytonstone, east London – the son of a hairdresser and a kitchen-fitter – has now built something larger than perhaps even he could imagine.
A dream 16 years in the making following that controversial move to a largely mocked league that was on very few American’s radar back in 2007, Beckham and wife Victoria have now transcended football itself in the US to become celebrity mainstays and create a life for their family that few can fathom.
In what has been dubbed the as one of the greatest sports deals of all time – not for an aging Messi’s footballing abilities, but rather his name an image – Beckham remarkably lured in the Argentinian, offering unmatched glamour that he himself only knows too well.
Life in Miami surrounded by celebrity friends including the likes of LeBron James and Kim Kardashian, a $23 million penthouse, as well as a favourite sandwich shop, has all been topped off by the addition of Messi to the business-savvy Beckham’s empire.
Victoria and David Beckham hug following Lionel Messi’s appearance for Inter Miami
Inter Miami CF forward Lionel Messi (10) celebrates after scoring a goal against Cruz Azul during the second half at DRV PNK Stadium
David, Victoria and Harper Beckham are pictured ahead of the match with the Kardashians
As part of the deal for signing for LA Galaxy back in 2007, Beckham was given the opportunity to buy an MLS franchise for a fixed rate fee of $25 million once he hung up his boots.
Knowing the potential that had been offered to him, the only question that remained was which location he would chose.
But the decision proved rather simple: Miami. The city has a deep-rooted passion for football but is also known for its love of the high life and Beckham, a big name and suited to the lavish surroundings, fitted in perfectly.
David and Victoria uprooted their family and settled their base in the Florida city.
Just two-years ago, the family bought a Miami penthouse for a reported $23 million. The apartment in the One Thousand Museum building designed by late architect Zaha Hadid.
As well as the extravagant property’s five-bedrooms, it also came with a luxury swimming pool and even its own rooftop helipad.
The 62-story building is 215 metres (705 ft) tall, and is one of the tallest buildings in the city, with prices for the apartments ranging between $5,900,000 to $21,850,000.
With homes in London and the Cotswolds already, the Beckhams chose to plant down roots in Florida as David set up his footballing empire.
Inter Miami signing Lionel Messi poses with a club shirt with owners Jorge Mas, Jose R. Mas and David Beckham during the unveiling
David Beckham and Lebron James attend American Express Presents CARBONE Beach at Carbone on May 06, 2022 in Miami Beach, Florida
Just a few miles down the road last year, the Beckham’s eldest son Brooklyn, 24, married wife Nicola Peltz, 28, at her billionaire father’s home in Palm Beach.
The Beckhams have also made sure the rest of their children have close ties to the city. Their other children Harper, 12, and Cruz, 18, have spent considerable time in the area, including on the family’s multi-million dollar yacht.
Romeo Beckham was even on the books at Inter Miami before heading over to Premier League club Brentford’s youth setup.
But amid all the glitz and glamour, the power couple have still caused a stir in the area as they go about their everyday life: from doing the weekly shop at Trader Joe’s trips to their favourite lunch spot.
A mainstay of Beckham’s Florida life has been trips to Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop, an inexpensive Cuban sandwich shop where it’s difficult to spend more than $10.
Leidys Pla, whose family own the outlet, told The Sun: ‘He has a little coffee – he likes Costa Rican coffee and loves the pork or a Cubano sandwich.
‘He’s always very nice and takes pictures with anyone who wants them.’
The outlet posted an image on social media of Beckham recently, captioning it: ‘Family reunion’.
David Beckham is spotted out doing some solo grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s in Miami
A general view of One Thousand Museum building in Miami where the Beckham’s reportedly live
As they topped off the celebrations following Messi’s appearance for the team on Friday, Victoria and David have performed Spice Girl hit Say You’ll Be There for friends in Miami.
Famous names such as basketball player LeBron James, tennis star Serena Williams and TV personality Kim Kardashian, all attended the match.
In a Sunday social media post, Victoria shared a video of her and husband David dancing and singing to her former pop band’s 1996 chart-topper Say You’ll Be There.
On TikTok, she wrote: ‘Warming up the vocals in Miami! More to come.’