(Fort Lauderdale) World soccer star Lionel Messi arrived in Florida on Tuesday ahead of his signing for Inter Miami.
The Argentinian arrived by private jet at a small Fort Lauderdale airport adjacent to the stadium of Inter Miami, American Major League Soccer club, according to images from Argentinian television.
The “Pulga”, who disembarked from the plane surrounded by family members, is expected to sign a two-and-a-half-year contract for a fee of $60 million a year.
“We are happy with the decision we made,” the 36-year-old told Argentinian show Llave a la eternidad in an interview that aired on Tuesday.
“We are ready and eager to face the new challenge, this new change,” he added.
“My mentality and my spirit are not going to change, and I will try, wherever I have to be, to give the best of myself, for me and my new club and to continue to play at the highest level,” he continued. said Lionel Messi.
About twenty fans had gathered in the early afternoon in front of the stadium to celebrate the arrival of the Argentinian.
“We are waiting for the Messiah for you,” read a banner placed next to a life-size cardboard Messi.
One such fan, Julio Iglesias, 42, founded the “Messias 305” fan group when he learned the Argentine star had signed with Inter Miami.
He had never watched the games of the MLS team, but today he no longer intends to miss any.
“Wherever he goes, it’s always fantastic happiness,” he says of Lionel Messi.
Around him, the other fans sing a song invented for the occasion: “How could I forget the night I heard that they were bringing Lionel over”.
Last month, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner announced he was joining the Florida club after his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expired.
Inter Miami announced on Friday that an event called “The Unveil” would be held on July 16 at its stadium.
The Argentinian is the biggest star in MLS history to sign in this championship, and the most famous player to sign in the United States since Pelé and his arrival at the New York Cosmos in 1975.
Lionel Messi, who became world champion with Argentina last December, is set to be joined in Miami by his former FC Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets, and the two could be featured together.
The Spanish defender Jordi Alba, former teammate of Messi and Busquets at Barça, is also approached at Inter Miami.
The club, of which former England soccer star David Beckham is co-owner and chairman, recently appointed former FC Barcelona and Argentina coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino as head of the club. ‘crew.
Messi is set to make his debut on the pitch on July 21 against Mexican club Cruz Azul in the new Leagues Cup, a tournament between MLS and Mexican league clubs.
Inter Miami are bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference and ranked 28th out of 29 clubs in the league.