Lionel Messi has officially signed with MLS club Inter Miami

(CNN) — Lionel Messi has officially arrived in America!

Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and FIFA World Cup champion Messi has signed with Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami, the club announced on Saturday.

The 36-year-old will fill a designated player role and is contracted to the club through the 2025 MLS season.

“I am very happy to start this next phase in my career with Inter Miami and in America,” Messi said in a statement. “This is a fantastic opportunity and we will continue to build this beautiful project together. The idea is to work together to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves and I am very much looking forward to helping here in my new home.”

In June, the Argentine star said in an interview published by Spanish media SPORT and Mundo Deportivo that he had decided to move to Miami but “didn’t close it one hundred percent”.

Messi’s much-anticipated Inter Miami debut is scheduled for July 21 against LIGA MX side Cruz Azul in the League Cup opener.

Messi spent the last two years playing for French side Paris Saint-Germain. Earlier, Messi played for Barcelona.

“We are thrilled that the world’s best player has chosen Inter Miami CF and Major League Soccer, and his decision is a testament to the drive and energy behind our league and our sport in North America,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. . “We have no doubt that Lionel will show the world that MLS can be the league of choice for the best players in the game. We look forward to his debut against Inter Miami in our Leagues Cup match later this month.”

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According to various reports, Messi’s new deal with Miami includes an option for partial ownership of the club and a portion of revenue from new subscribers to Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass streaming service.

Eden Hayes

"Wannabe gamer. Subtly charming beer buff. General pop culture trailblazer. Incurable thinker. Certified analyst."

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