Lionel Messi says he's taking his talents to Inter Miami
Why it matters: Miami feels like the sports capital of the world this year.
- The Heat and Panthers are in the finals, Hard Rock Stadium is the new American home for Formula 1 and the UM men's basketball team made the Final Four.
Catch up fast: Messi, arguably the greatest soccer player of all time, played the last two seasons with Paris Saint-Germain after spending most of his career with FC Barcelona — but his contract expires later this month.
- The 35-year-old World Cup champion was rumored to be deciding between coming to Miami, returning to FC Barcelona or signing a $400 million-per-year deal with a Saudi Arabian team.
- Messi's MLS deal could include revenue-sharing partnerships with AppleTV+ and Adidas, plus an option to own part of a team, The Athletic reports.
What they're saying: "After winning the World Cup and not being able to return to Barcelona, it was my turn to go to the league of the United States to live football in another way and to enjoy the day to day more," he said in an interview with Spanish outlets Mundo Deportivo and Sport. "Obviously, with the same responsibility and desire to play well and do things well as always. But in a calmer way."
Zoom in: Miami has a sizable Argentine community, which came out in droves to cheer on the national team during the World Cup and packed Hard Rock Stadium last year to watch Messi play an international friendly match.
- Messi also owns a vacation home in South Florida and has said that experiencing the Miami lifestyle with his family would appeal to him, per the Herald.
- Inter Miami currently plays in Fort Lauderdale but plans to build a soccer stadium on public land near Miami International Airport, where the Melreese golf course is currently located.
What we're watching: How high will ticket prices climb?
- The Athletic reports that Messi's Inter Miami debut might come as soon as July 21. Tickets are already sold out for the game and the lowest resale ticket is more than $650.
- Tickets for the July 25 home game are selling for as much as $3,000.
- By comparison, you can find tickets for as cheap as $34 for the club's next home pre-Messi game on July 1.
More Miami stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Miami.