Good things come to those who wait. Thousands of football aficionados had to wait for hours as Inter Miami welcomed Lionel Messi through an official unveiling ceremony titled ‘La Presentasion’ at the DRV PNK Stadium in Miami, Florida on Sunday.
The programme, scheduled to start at 5 pm ET, was delayed after torrential rains as a sold-out crowd waited with flags and banners to welcome the legend to the Major League Soccer (MLS) club.
But soon the rain gave way for the Argentine FIFA World Cup winner, who arrived on the ground with cheers of ‘Messi! Messi!’ from 20,000 fans in the stadium.
Messi moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021 after spending 17 years at Barcelona, where he scored 672 goals and won 34 trophies, both of which are club records. At Paris, however, his stay was received poorly by the fans, with some PSG ultras also chanting for his departure.
On July 15, Inter Miami announced that Messi had made his way to Florida for a new chapter, with co-owner of the club and former England international David Beckham calling it a ‘dream come true.’
At the unveiling event on Sunday, Messi looked to have put the past behind him as he arrived in a white shirt at the stadium with a smile and was warmly received by Beckham and co-owner Jorge Mas, who is also the president of La Liga side Real Zaragoza.
He was also given the No. 10 jersey by the club – something he has not donned (in club football) since his exit from Barca (he used to wear No. 30 at PSG).
“I am excited to be here in Miami, to thank David and his family, Jorge... I want to start training and compete, I always want to compete and make the club win, and keep growing! I Hope You Will Continue To Support Us! We Will Do Our Best,” Messi said.
“I have no doubt that we are going to enjoy a lot and that we are going to have a good time. Thank you all so much for this day.”
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