Argentina World Cup winner Lionel Messi confirmed on Wednesday that he was joining Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami.
“I am joinging Inter Miami. The decision is 100% confirmed,” the 35-year-old Messi told Mundo Deportivo.
Messi spent the last two seasons with French Champion Paris Saint-Germain. He netted 32 goals in 75 games for the club - and ended this season with 16 goals and 16 assists in Ligue 1.
When can Messi play his first match for Inter Miami?
Messi said that while his decision to move to Inter Miami is final, certain formalities are yet to be completed. Therefore, we might have to wait to see Messi’s first appearances as an Inter Miami player.
The team plays its next match against Birmingham Legion FC on June 8 and the following match on June 11, against New England. With playing on June 8 being out of the question, it is highly unlikely that Messi even plays against New England on June 11.
The soonest one can expect to see Messi’s debut for Inter Miami is on June 25 when the team will play last season’s runner-up Philadelphia Union.
Inter Miami- How was the club formed?
Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, known as Inter Miami CF or simply Inter Miami, is an American professional football club based in Fort Lauderdale. The club was established in 2018 and began competing in Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2020.
Inter Miami’s home stadium is the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The ownership of the club was first formed in 2013 as Miami Beckham United, though it now trades under the name Miami Freedom Park LLC. The group was headed by Marcelo Clause, a Miami-based Bolivian businessman. Masayoshi Son and brothers Jorge and Jose Mas were included as owners in 2017. The whole process started when David Beckham signed with the MLS in 2007 when he signed with LA Galaxy and kept a clause in his contract to own an expansion team at a discounted franchise fee.
On September 17, 2021, Beckham and the Mas brothers announced that they had bought out Claure and Son’s stakes in the ownership group.
On January 29, 2018, the Miami Beckham United group was awarded the 25th MLS franchise. This was part of a larger MLS expansion that would increase the number of teams to 26 by 2020 and 30 after that. ger MLS expansion that would increase its number of teams to 26 by 2020 and 30 after that.
A Brief history of the MLS
Major League Soccer (MLS) is the men’s professional football (known as soccer in the United States) that is sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation. The MLS is the highest tier of football that exists in the United States and has 29 teams- 26 in the USA and three in Canada, since the start of the 2023 season.
Started in 1993 as a part of the USA’s successful bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the first season had 10 teams playing in it. It was succeeded by the North American Soccer League (NASL), which existed from 1968 to 1984.
An MLS season begins in late February or early March and runs through mid-October, with each team playing 34 games. The team with the best record is awarded the Supporter’s Shield. 18 teams play in the postseason MLS Cup playoffs, with the season ending with the league’s championship game – the MLS Cup, where two teams battle it out for the ultimate crown of being champion.
Teams in MLS are divided geographically into the Eastern and Western Conferences, playing 34 games. The 29 teams in 2023 will each play two games (home and away) against each team in its conference and one game against all but four or five of the team in the opposite conference.
Midway through the season, the teams break for the annual All-Star Game, which is an exhibition match consisting of the league’s best players.
Which team is the current MLS champion?
Los Angeles FC is the current MLS champion after winning its first title in 2022 after beating Philadelphia Union in the final last year. It also won the Supporters Shield in the previous season.
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