The city of Miami is excited to welcome Lionel Messi to South Florida, and that includes Dolphins star Tyreek Hill, who recorded a special message for the Argentine superstar on Wednesday.
Messi confirmed in an interview with Mundo Deportivo that he’d be joining Inter Miami, ending speculation that he would reunite with Barcelona two years after leaving the Spanish club.
And Hill is looking forward to seeing the World Cup winner suit up for his local team.
‘I just wanna say welcome to the 305, Lionel Messi,’ Hill said in a video posted to the Dolphins’ Twitter account.
‘Now we got two No. 10s, but I just wanna know which one is the fastest. But anyways, congrats to you man.’
Seven-time Ballon d’Or and World Cup winner Lionel Messi confirmed his plan to join MLS
And Dolphins wide receiver – and fellow No. 10 – Tyreek Hill welcomed him on Wednesday
Hill’s quarterback Tua Tagovailoa also called the impending arrival of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner ‘awesome.’
While Messi is yet to officially sign with Inter Miami, Barcelona acknowledged in a bitter statement that he had snubbed his former club to join MLS.
And the American league offered a cautiously optimistic statement on the situation.
‘We are pleased that Lionel Messi has stated that he intends to join Inter Miami CF and Major League Soccer this summer,’ the league said.
‘Although work remains to finalize a formal agreement, we look forward to welcoming one of the greatest soccer players of all time to our League.
MLS has reportedly thrown ‘everything on the table’ to land Messi.
The deal is said to involve contributions from two of MLS’s biggest commercial partners: Apple TV and Adidas, according to The Athletic.
MLS and Apple have reportedly discussed offering Messi a share of the revenue generated by new subscribers attracted to the platform’s streaming package, MLS Season Pass, by the star’s arrival in the States.
MLS are reportedly getting creative to bring Messi to Inter Miami this summer
Inter Miami is owned by David Beckham, who also moved to MLS in blockbuster fashion, joining the LA Galaxy in the summer of 2007
Meanwhile, the report added that Adidas is offering Messi a profit-sharing agreement with the sportswear giant, which would involve the player receiving a cut of any increase in Adidas’ profits resulting from his involvement in MLS.
ESPN also reported that his deal with the American side includes an option that could see him become a part-owner of the team.
Messi’s impending arrival in Miami has caused the club’s Instagram following to skyrocket – from 1million to 3.4 – with MLS ticket prices shooting up as well.
Aside from turning down an offer from Saudi Arabia, his father, Jorge, had reportedly met with Barcelona president Joan Laporte earlier this week.
‘I really wanted [to return to Barcelona], I was very excited to be able to return, but after having experienced what I experienced and the exit I had, I did not want to be in the same situation again: waiting to see what was going to happen and leaving my future in hand from another,’ Messi told Mundo Deportivo.
‘I wanted to make my own decision, thinking about myself, about my family. Although I heard that it was said that LaLiga had accepted everything and that everything was fine for him to return, there were still many other things that had to be done.
‘I heard that they [Barcelona] had to sell players or lower players’ salaries and the truth is that I didn’t want to go through that, nor take charge of obtaining something that had to do with all that’.
Barcelona have issued a statement on Lionel Messi’s decision to move to Inter Miami CF
Barcelona acknowledged that there would be no reunion with the star, though they branded his Miami move his ‘next professional phase’ in a salty statement.
The club statement read: ‘On Monday, June 5, Jorge Messi, the player’s father and representative, informed Club president Joan Laporta of the player’s decision to join Inter Miami, despite having been presented with a proposal from Barça, in consideration of the desire of both FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi for him to once again wear blaugrana.
‘President Laporta understood and respected Messi’s decision to want to compete in a league with fewer demands, further away from the spotlight and the pressure he has been subject to in recent years.
‘Both Joan Laporta and Jorge Messi also agreed to work together to promote a proper tribute from Barça fans to honor a footballer who has been, is, and always will be beloved by Barça.’