Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami move has left the soccer world stunned. After leaving PSG, FC Barcelona, and Al-Hilal emerged as the main contenders in the race to sign Messi. While Al-Hilal was prepared to splash out more than a billion dollars to sign the Argentine star, FC Barcelona’s situation was a bit more complicated. However, in an interview with Mundo Deportivo, Messi announced his decision to move to Miami.
As per ESPN, Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami contract is worth around $125 million to $150 million over 2.5 years. There will also be an option to extend the contract until 2026. Moreover, the sources further stated that Messi’s contract will also include bonuses and equity from Apple and Adidas, two of MLS’s biggest sponsors. However, MLS‘s strict salary cap regulations might lead to complications in Messi’s deal.
The MLS has devised stringent policies for regulating the salary limits for teams. For 2023, the base salary cap for each team has been set at $5.2 million. In addition to this, the teams can have additional funds through General Allocation Money ($1.9 million) and Targeted Allocation Money ($2.7 million). There’s also the Designated Player rule which allows teams to sign three high-profile players for salaries exceeding the budget cap.
🚨😳 Included in Lionel Messi’s deal with Inter Miami:
➡️ Percentage on subscriptions to the MLS Season Pass from APPLE TV, paid directly by APPLE
➡️ Percentage of Inter Miami shirt sales, paid directly by Adidas
➡️ Possibility of acquiring an MLS franchise at the end of his… pic.twitter.com/liWC0wgDt8
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) June 7, 2023
Inter Miami probably would have accommodated Lionel Messi’s salary through the Designated Player rule. However, the club has already filled up the three designated slots with Gregore, Rodolfo Pizarro, and Leonardo Campana. Although Messi’s move might see some changes in the club’s currently occupied slots. With Messi’s Inter Miami deal not yet finalized, it would be interesting to see how the club accommodates the salary of the former Barcelona star.
Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami move raises security concerns
Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami move is probably the most historic transfer in the history of MLS. Several stars like David Beckham, Steven Gerard, Thierry Henry, Kaka, Wayne Rooney, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have played in the MLS over the years. However, none of them come close to matching the stature and aura of the 7-times Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi.
The 🐐 is coming. Millions of MLS fans all over the world welcome you, Leo.
Follow along for more. 👀 pic.twitter.com/NLzkatvwrC
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 7, 2023
There’s no doubt that Messi’s move will also lead to a huge surge in the viewership of the MLS. Despite the league’s popularity in the USA, it hasn’t been able to attract huge audiences from Europe and the rest of the world. However, the question arises whether the MLS and Inter Miami are ready to welcome a player like Messi into the league.
Dutch goalkeeper Nick Marsman, who also plays for Inter Miami, spoke to ESPN about Messi’s upcoming arrival. Marsman stated that the club isn’t yet ready to have a player like the former PSG star in their ranks. Marsman said, “I personally think that this club is not ready for Lionel Messi’s arrival. We have a temporary stadium, people can just walk on the pitch, there are no gates. We also leave for the stadium without security.“
Inter Miami are 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘆 for Lionel Messi, according to their ‘keeper Nick Marsman. pic.twitter.com/TyQxBM9CoL
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) June 8, 2023
He further said, “I think they aren’t ready. But I hope he comes.” Former Inter Miami coach Phil Neville even went on to the extent of claiming that Messi is “bigger” than the club. He said, “It’s big for the MLS. I think this would be probably the biggest signing ever in American sports.” With just about a month left for Messi’s rumored debut, the club and the MLS need to make manifold changes to avoid any security issues.
Fans go berserk to watch Lionel Messi play as Inter Miami tickets get sold out for the season
Lionel Messi’s blockbuster move to Inter Miami has led to an unprecedented increase in ticket prices. According to reports, the minimum price for an Inter Miami ticket was $29 previously. However, since Messi announced his move, the prices have increased to $329, an astronomical 1034% rise. Moreover, the euphoria from Messi’s move has led to all Inter Miami tickets for the remaining games-both home and away- being sold out.
— All About Argentina 🛎🇦🇷 (@AlbicelesteTalk) June 8, 2023
American media outlets are stating that the prices of tickets are currently ranging between an estimated $350 to $3500. Due to the tickets getting sold out, not only fans but even former Manchester City star Sergio Aguero can’t seem to get hold of one. Aguero stated yesterday that he had asked Messi, who is his best friend, for a ticket, but even the Argentine icon couldn’t manage one.