MIAMI — Lionel “Leo” Messi, the Argentine professional footballer who plays for the Barcelona Football Club, biggest rival of David Beckham’s former home team, Real Madrid, has launched a not so veiled message on social media that he may be willing to leave Spain for sunny Miami to play for Beckham’s new Miami MLS Club.
Messi, 30, considered the best player in the world and even the greatest of all time, has a record five Ballon d’Or awards, said in a video posted on Marca TV, “Hi David, first of all congratulations, I hope all goes well with the new project, in this new step you are taking and who knows, in a few years maybe you will give me a call.”
The Argentine would be a coup for the MLS Club, a professional soccer team that will be based in Miami. The ownership group, Miami Beckham United, named after the British soccer star, was officially awarded an expansion team yesterday, though they will not begin playing matches until 2020.
Messi considered retiring in 2016, but eventually reversed his decision, saying, “A lot of things went through my mind on the night of the final (of the Copa América) and I gave serious thought to quitting, but my love for my country and this shirt is too great.”
Messi enjoys a heated rivalry with hotshot Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo with some comparing it to legendary sports rivalries like Muhammad Ali–Joe Frazier or Björn Borg–John McEnroe.
Getting Messi might cost Beckham a pretty penny though. He just signed a new Barcelona contract, where he earns $667,000 a week, aside from the $59.6 million he received for signing. His buyout clause is set at $835 million, yet Beckham might consider it a wise investment since SportsPro considers him one of the world’s most marketable athletes, which could mean big ticket and T-shirt sales for the fledgling Miami club.