MIAMI (WCMH) — One of the greatest athletes of all time is set to join Major League Soccer and could even visit Columbus in the near future for a game.
35-year-old Argentine forward Lionel Messi will join Inter Miami later this summer after two seasons in France with Paris Saint-Germain, the team announced Wednesday afternoon. Messi had confirmed earlier this year he would leave PSG, opening the rumor mill towards him possibly returning to Barcelona, joining a club in Saudi Arabia, or coming to Miami.
Messi will take his talents to South Beach in a marquee signing in the 27-year history of MLS. When asked about the potential signing, Crew midfielder Sean Zawadzki expressed his excitement and desire to play against one of the best of all time.
“I think its really good for the league in general,” said Zawadzki. “Messi is well known all over the place and is one of if not the greatest soccer player of all time. Kind of something you really look forward to and circle on the calendar every time. Everyone around the league will be keyed in on that game.”
With Inter Miami being a fellow Eastern Conference team, the Crew typically plays Miami twice a season — once in Fort Lauderdale, Florida., at DRV PNK Stadium and another at Lower.com Field.
Messi boasts one of if not the most decorated career in soccer history. He led Barcelona to 10 Spanish league titles and four European Cup victories while amassing more than 650 goals for the club. In two seasons in Paris, he won the French League title twice. Messi has also won the Ballon d’Or, soccer’s most recognized award for the best player in a year, a record seven times.
The Argentine increased his legendary status this past year, leading Argentina to the World Cup title in Qatar. In 174 appearances for his country, Messi has scored 102 goals and won both the World Cup and Copa America. He also won the World Cup’s player of the tournament award twice in 2014 and 2022.