• Lionel Messi shocked the sports world when he signed with Inter Miami of MLS in the US.
  • His oldest son has now joined him, signing with Inter Miami’s youth academy to start his career.
  • Messi said in a recent interview that he hoped to find a happier life for his family in the US.

Lionel Messi’s son is just 10 years old, but he is ready to start his own soccer career.

Inter Miami announces Thiago Messi has joined their U-12 team.
Inter Miami announces Thiago Messi has joined their U-12 team. 

The U-12 team is the youngest of Inter Miami’s five academy teams. While still new in the US, where young athletes are most often developed in schools and “travel” teams (e.g., AAU), European sports clubs have long actively developed young players through their own academies.

Thiago had not previously been associated with any academy while living in Europe. After one of his dad’s recent matches, he was spotted kicking a ball around on the field.

Before the recent Leagues Cup final won by Inter Miami, Messi sat down with Apple TV+ for his first interview since signing with MLS. Sportscaster Tony Cherchi asked Messi about the decision to sign with Beckham’s club and which factor was the most important in making that decision. Messi spoke about how hard his two years with Paris Saint-Germain in France’s Ligue 1 were on his family.

“It was a family decision,” Messi told Cherchi, according to Apple TV+ translation. “We had been through two difficult years. The truth is that we had not been well. It was very difficult for the whole family.”

Antonella Roccuzzo (L) with children Thiago Messi, Mateo Messi Roccuzzo and Ciro Messi Roccuzzo.
Lionel Messi’s family including wife Antonella Roccuzzo (L) and children Thiago Messi, Mateo Messi Roccuzzo, and Ciro Messi Roccuzzo. 
CHANDAN KHANNA/Getty Images

But coming to the US, Messi said, “was a little bit like going back to what we were in Barcelona, enjoying everyday life. It was about the kids, having the family doing well.”

Messi added that after spending time in the US, the family was right when it decided Miami was “the right place” for both his family and him. In his first nine matches for Inter Miami, Messi has 11 goals, and the club won their first trophy in the Leagues Cup.