Creative Soccer Culture

Why Would Messi Choose Inter Miami?

Following months of speculation and rumours of a return to Barcelona, it has now been announced that Lionel Messi’s next club will be MLS side Inter Miami. But if you’re wondering how the Beckham-led franchise can compete with the money on offer from Saudi Arabia, then wonder no more…

Even at the ripe old age of 35, Lionel Messi could pretty much choose any club in the world to play for. With the news that he was set to leave PSG breaking a while back, rumours were rife as to his next destination: would he join Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia? Would he be the marquee signing that Newcastle fans are hoping for following their Champions League qualification? Would he head Stateside to feature in the MLS? Or would he head back to his beloved Barcelona? Despite rumours of the latter, it turns out that the World Cup winner is joining Inter Miami, despite the lucrative nature of some other offers. But how could the MLS side possibly compete financially? The answer? While it may not stack up to the money on offer from Saudi, they had a fair bit of help to ensure the package on offer was more than enticing.

Major League Soccer continues to grow year on year, and despite a lot of public opinion across the world being that it’s one of a few places to put players out to pasture, it’s actually developing in terms of competition and quality. But let’s be honest, that’s not why Messi has chosen to play there. When you’re in the twilight of your career, you’re not necessarily looking for competition, you’re viewing the whole package. If it was just down to money, then Saudi Arabia probably would’ve been the obvious choice, but as it is, Inter Miami have been able to entice the Argentine, with a little help from MLS, Apple and adidas.

Of course, Apple are in the first year of a huge 10-year deal with MLS, and their pockets are pretty limitless. The current deal sees Apple having exclusive streaming rights for Major League Soccer, and what better way to boost your subscription count than to offer the chance to watch arguably the greatest player of all time week in, week out. Reports suggest that Messi would be offered a share of the revenue created by new subscribers to the MLS Season Pass.

adidas 2-min.jpg

Then there’s adidas. Messi’s relationship with the Three Stripes needs no further clarity, but that relationship is also mirrored by the MLS’s partnership with the brand. Their reported involvement in the deal would see a profit-sharing agreement which would involve the player receiving a cut of any increase in adidas’ profits resulting from his involvement in MLS.

And then there’s MLS itself, who are steadily building towards a 30-year anniversary and a 2026 World Cup on home soil, a crescendo which could be bolstered in the build up by the presence of Messi. It’s reported that part of his deal includes the offer of team ownership incentives as it did with David Beckham in 2007, which would make sense.

Ruling Barcelona out due mainly to the uncertainty surrounding their financial position and the nature of their offer, for Messi himself, who has a young family and a holiday home in Florida already, the decision to take them to either Saudi Arabia, England or America must’ve been a fairly easy one, and who would hold it against him? He's gonna absolutely smash that league.

adidas 1-min.jpg

And for anyone wondering about the potential impact Messi will have on Inter Miami, MLS and football (soccer) Stateside, you only have to scope out the incredibly increase in the club's Instagram following following the news that he was set to join. From 1m to well over 5m and counting...

Wonder if he had anything to do with Phil Neville losing his job...

Daniel Jones

The Creative Soccer Culture Brief

Sign up to our newsletter and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the world of Creative Soccer Culture.