Messi and Beckham: The Friendship of Two Superstars in Miami
Messi is having a dream start at Inter Miami with the help of legendary midfielder David Beckham.
Lionel Messi becomes the new face of MLS. That was always a given when he confirmed Inter Miami as his next destination after leaving Paris Saint-Germain, but he proved that his move to his new team was more than just a marketing ploy in two games. My first match for my new team.
When Miami was awarded an MLS expansion spot in 2018, Beckham pledged to build the best team in the league, before adding: “I think Miami needs a star. You have to realize our audience and Miami expects us to bring in a star. That’s what we’re planning on doing.”
At that time, Messi was still only playing for one club in Europe, Barcelona. But Miami tried to make him their “star” when his relationship with Barcelona began to show bad signs.
“My cost is three years. One year and a half, very tight,” Miami’s managing owner Jorge Mas recently told El Pais when asked about negotiations with Messi. “I saw it completed at the end of May. Beckham spoke to Leo, just about football matters, because he was still playing. I didn’t want him to feel pressured. We did speaking in Barcelona, Miami, Rosario, Doha… I spent the entire World Cup in Qatar, watching Argentina play.”
It can be said that Messi could not appear in MLS right now without Beckham. And the growing friendship between him and the Argentinian star also brings joy to fans in the United States and around the world.
Beckham initially paved the way for an immigration of top players to MLS when he joined LA Galaxy after leaving Real Madrid in 2007. It was written into Beckham’s contract that he could buy a team. ball for just $25 million, and he used this interest in 2014 to create Inter Miami.
It was the former England international who pointed to the potential of soccer in the United States and MLS as a global brand. And the early signs certainly suggest that Messi is fully capable of pulling it off.
The World Cup winning star’s unveiling at DRV PNK Stadium was a glittering event with 21,000 people turning out to watch him show off his new number 10 shirt. The event was delayed by a heavy thunderstorm, with Miami director Mas describing the rain as “holy water” as he eventually led Messi to a specially made stage in the middle of the field alongside his brother Jose and Beckham.
In the same interview, Beckham also revealed that he had thought of Messi from the beginning of his journey in Miami. “It all started with a conversation over a glass of wine over dinner,” he says. “I turned to Jorge and said, ‘One day, we need Messi to come to our club’. That was probably when we first met. Actually, I found it on the phone today one of the first presentations that (ad agency) Doubleday & Cartwright did – they modeled a jersey with the logo on and Leo was wearing it. That was 10 years ago.
“So that’s always in the back of my mind. I think every sports team owner thinks, ‘We want to bring the best players to our club’. It happens to all people? Of course not. But we were sitting at dinner and we thought, ‘OK, if we can bring Leo to our market, to our fans, with this part of the world, there is no one better'”.
“We got on a plane and flew to Barcelona from London discreetly,” Mr Beckham said. “We snuck into the hotel, met Jorge Messi (Lionel’s father and his agent) and started a conversation. It was simply, ‘We want your son to come play for our team. We know he can’t come right now, but one day we’d like to have Leo in Miami.’
“Then Jorge (Mas) did a great job in creating a narrative around what he can do for the sport in this country, what he can do for MLS and what he can do for Inter Miami.”
Before Messi arrived in the US, Inter Miami scheduled his debut for July 21 against Cruz Azul, and Beckham played his part in building anticipation for the match. “We don’t know if Leo will play the match or get minutes, because I think, at the end of the day, he needs to be ready,” the Englishman told ESPN Argentina . “We have to protect him and make sure he’s ready, because he’s been on vacation and just arrived in Miami.”
New Miami coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino, who previously worked with Messi while in charge of Barcelona and Argentina, started bringing Messi on as a substitute in the 54th minute – but it seemed as a pre-planned move to invite a hearty round of applause from the audience.
Sure enough, that had the desired effect, and Messi was immediately involved with the home crowd cheering him on to create a moment of magic whenever he had the ball. Despite his best efforts, Messi couldn’t score and Cruz Azul kept Miami at bay throughout the match – until the 36-year-old won a corner at the edge of the globe in stoppage time.
Messi is past the peak of his career, but he is still the best at taking corner kicks and he showed it again to the world, curling the ball beautifully into the top left corner of the net. .
Many celebrities sitting in the stands like tennis legend Serena Williams stood up in surprise, but it was Beckham’s reaction that really attracted attention. After hugging wife Victoria, Beckham was seen to have tears in his eyes and he had to breathe deeply to calm himself.
“After I saw the free kick given I thought that was the way it was meant to be,” the 48-year-old told reporters after the match. “Tonight was really exciting for our fans. Everyone who came here to watch Leo just walk on the field, not to mention do what he did. It was a dream come true.” It’s real for everyone in this stadium and everyone across this country to watch Leo enter MLS and compete, and I don’t have many words to describe it.”
“Whoever wields this hammer, if he is worthy, will possess the power of Thor.”
Anthony Hopkins’s line as Odin wielding Mjolnir in the 2011 blockbuster “Thor” has become a classic for a generation of Marvel fans, not least because it set up one of the most famous scenes. throughout the brand.
When audiences first saw Captain America capture Mjolnir in “Avengers: Endgame” eight years later, they cried with joy and cheered, as it had finally been proven that the hammer’s power was beyond Exclusive to Thor.
Messi’s oldest son, Thiago, is a true Marvel fan, and his favorite character is the god of thunder. Coach Martino gave Messi his first start for the club on July 26 against Atlanta United, and after breaking the deadlock after just eight minutes, the diminutive striker performed a heart-warming celebration. inspiration from Thor to Thiago and his two other sons, Ciro and Mateo, as they sat at the side of the field.
If there’s a footballer worthy of Thor’s hammer, it’s Messi, and his gesture to summon Mjolnir accurately captured the magic of his immediate impact at the DRV PNK Stadium. However, there was initially some confusion about the meaning of this celebration.
Beckham sat near Messi’s family and also had a bright smile on his face when the 7-time Golden Ball winning star raised his hand. On social networks, there are suggestions that Messi is pretending to make the “holding a beer” sign for Beckham, as a disguised way to recognize his own excellence.
However, Messi’s wife, Antonela Roccuzzo, later took to social networks to clarify the matter. She posted an image of Messi performing this celebration with the Mjolnir symbol and the humorous caption “Thorsday”.
So, like that, Messi and Beckham didn’t have their own celebration held beforehand. But the Miami chief reacted with childlike excitement that resembled Messi’s son, suggesting he was already fond of the man who has become the new icon of MLS.
Messi has become more stable at Miami than at PSG. And Beckham also deserves a lot of credit for doing everything he could to make sure he felt at home – including helping complete a giant painting in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood.
Victoria also made a huge effort to welcome Messi and his family, and was seen hugging Antonela in the stands at DRV PNK during matches against Cruz Azul and Atlanta. Posh Spice is currently back in the public eye, and seems to be enjoying every moment.
But the bond between these two families is not fake – as proven by the fact that they are now seen together in their free time. Messi, Antonela, David and Victoria were seen dining at Japanese-inspired restaurant Gekko at the weekend, along with Sergio Busquets and girlfriend Elena Galera, and Jorge Mas and wife Aleyda..
Messi, Victoria and David shared photos from the dinner night, showing how close the Miami team has become in such a short period of time. After a difficult few years off the field, Messi is now in the perfect place, and with the right people, to enjoy football and his personal life to the fullest without getting into trouble.
It was a surprise when the best player in the world decided to leave European football and go to America, but now everyone can see why he made that decision. And with Beckham as his friend and guide every step of the way, Inter Miami fans can expect many winning performances from their new powerhouse.
Messi has had to deal with criticism that he took the easy route by joining Miami, but one look at the Eastern Conference standings is enough to silence these words. Martino’s team is bottom of the table after 22 matches, and will need a miracle to reach the MLS playoffs. But Miami fans will dream of that scenario after Messi’s impressive debut in the football country. The Argentina international did not come to America to start gradually slowing down his career, as his first two performances in pink Miami demonstrated.
Beckham affirmed that Messi shares his passion for the project at DRV PNK Stadium, and they are working together with the same goal of turning Miami into a real powerhouse in MLS. “There were a lot of people who did a great job getting me to LA when the league was struggling, but they had vision and commitment,” Beckham said in a chat with The Athletic. “I think Leo saw that and thought, ‘OK, this is an opportunity.’ He also realized that this was a long-term project.
“If we lose the first two matches with Leo, I’m not worried about it. I want to win. Leo wants to win. Jose and Jorge (Mas) want us to win. But more importantly, this is a long project term. That’s how I always look at it. That’s how Leo sees it.”
Messi could have pushed for a return to Barcelona or a move to another top European league, but he would have had to walk the same path. By coming to MLS, he now has the opportunity to inspire a large segment of new fans and young players while adding another layer of uniqueness to his legacy.
“Leo has won everything a footballer can win. The World Cup has to be the icing on the cake,” Beckham continued. “He sees this as a project, a legacy and I don’t think many players see that. They see opportunities to play football in different locations, but Leo sees him as more than just can change the face of football in this country, he can also inspire the next generation and there is no better way to do that than to step onto our pitch in Miami and make everyone kids talk about him, watch him and learn from him. He also wants to make the game bigger and better in this country – he can do it, he will did it and he did it. It’s not just all of Miami talking about Leo, it’s all of America,
The connection between Messi and Beckham will be an important factor for MLS and football in general. Mas asserted that MLS could become one of the top two leagues in the world after signing Messi, and that is not far-fetched anymore.
Fueled by a superstar friendship that captured the hearts of an entire nation overnight, the sky’s the limit for Miami – and you won’t want to miss a second.