Beckham Responds To Messi's Miami Choice Over Salford
David Beckham couldn't contain his excitement as he discussed why Lionel Messi chose Inter Miami as his destination over his other co-owned football club, Salford City. With the allure of America's warm beaches, it was no wonder that the Argentine star was drawn to MLS.
During a leadership conference in north London, Beckham was asked about his decision to recruit Messi for MLS rather than Salford City. Although he maintained a friendly tone, his response highlighted the clear advantages that Inter Miami had over Salford City in terms of location, status, and squad quality.
"Yes, I am part-owner of Salford City," Beckham began. "And Salford is a great place. But, obviously, Argentina is closer to Miami than Salford. I think that was quite a pull for Leo…"
Beckham's smile revealed his satisfaction with the outcome. From the beginning, Miami had been the city he envisioned bringing Messi to. Securing the legendary Argentine forward ahead of interest from the Saudi Pro League and even Barcelona was a testament to Beckham's growing influence in American football, building upon his success as a player with the LA Galaxy.
It took months of negotiations and discussions to convince Messi to make the move. However, Beckham's confidence never wavered.
"A couple of weeks ago, I woke up to about a million messages on my phone," Beckham shared. "I was thinking, 'What's going off? I don't usually get this many messages.' All of a sudden, I hear Leo has come out and announced he's coming to Miami.
"Obviously, it wasn't a surprise to me. I have always said, from the word go, that if I had the opportunity to bring the best players in the game to Miami, at whatever time of their careers, I would do that. I have always made that commitment to our fans.
"So when I hear that one of the best players — if not the best player — who has won everything in the game, who is still a great player, still young and still doing what he's doing, wants to play for my team, it's a massive moment for us."
For Beckham, this moment is the culmination of years of hard work building Inter Miami. He was involved as an initial investor, and now, in the club's fifth year of existence, he can revel in what he has accomplished.
Salford City, on the other hand, presents a different challenge. As a club in League Two, their progress is a slower burn. Beckham acquired a 10 percent stake in the English club in 2019, along with former Manchester United teammates Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, and Nicky Butt. While acquiring world-class talent on the field may not be feasible for Salford at the moment, they can certainly benefit from Beckham's expertise and support.
In Miami, Beckham can bask in the glory of his team, which has become an emerging cultural phenomenon. With Messi's arrival, alongside former Barcelona star Sergio Busquets, Inter Miami is set to create waves not only in the United States but also in the global football community. The anticipation surrounding the debuts of these European club icons is palpable, and it is expected to be a frenzied atmosphere when they take the field.
Messi's highly anticipated first match with Inter Miami is scheduled for July 21 against Mexican side Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup. The excitement surrounding the occasion was evident as tickets sold out almost immediately. To accommodate the rush, the club plans to bring in an additional 3,000 seats to DRV PNK Stadium temporarily.
Even in Salford, all eyes will be on the nimble Argentine, eagerly observing his performances in his new home. The impact of Messi's presence in Miami goes beyond the boundaries of the city, resonating with football fans worldwide who are curious to see how he adapts to his new surroundings.
With this significant acquisition, Beckham has solidified his position as a prominent figure in both American and global football, showcasing his ability to attract top talent and elevate the sport's profile in new markets. The journey he embarked on with Inter Miami continues to shape the landscape of football in ways that were once unimaginable.