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Messi has come to Inter Miami to ‘win and inspire the next generation of soccer players’ in the US, says David Beckham

<i>Marco Bello/Reuters</i><br/>
Marco Bello/Reuters

By Jill Martin, CNN

(CNN) — Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham talked to CNN about his latest star signing and revealed that he’s been working to get Lionel Messi on his Major League Soccer (MLS) team since 2019.

“The moment that Leo went on TV and announced … that he was coming to Miami, that was an emotional moment,” Beckham, sitting next to fellow Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas, said in an interview with CNN en Español on Tuesday.

The Argentine’s move to Inter Miami has been one of the hottest topics throughout soccer’s summer transfer window, and on Saturday, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner officially signed for the Florida club. The 2022 World Cup winner is under contract with the club until the end of the 2025 MLS season.

“Our dream with this club was always to bring the greatest players in. As owners, I think the owners of a sports team, you always want to bring in the greatest players,” English football great Beckham explained.

“Does it always happen? No. For us, it’s happened … We always felt that it was possible, but when we started the conversations, obviously, Leo was under contract and playing for another team, so, again, we had to be patient. But I think at the end of the day, patience is what we’ve needed through this whole process.”

Beckham later went on to say, “Someone like Leo, we’re talking about a player who lifted the World Cup last year. We’re talking about one of the greatest players – if not the greatest player – to ever play this game.

Former Real Madrid and Manchester United star Beckham said that it was important to bring a player with “the right values, the right morals” to the Florida club.

“We saw Leo out in Miami. You know, surprise, surprise, Leo goes (out) for dinner. Surprise, surprise, Leo does his own grocery shopping. But that is why people love him. And that is what represents our club.” He added: “On the field, we all know what Leo is going to do on the field. But off the field, he will represent our club in the right way, and that’s what we’ve always dreamed of.”

Beckham later added: “When you see a player who has done everything he has in the game and he continues to be hungry, he continues to want to win. He’s at the stage of his career where he has made a decision to come to the MLS, to come to America, to come to Miami, to come to Inter Miami to win. He’s not come here for a holiday. He’s not come here to do anything other than win and inspire the next generation of soccer players here in this country.”

The 36-year-old Messi is expected to make his Inter Miami debut on July 21 against LIGA MX side Cruz Azul in the opening match of the Leagues Cup.

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