David Beckham has spoken publicly for the first time about what it means to have the biggest soccer player in the world on his team.
Speaking at a “Lessons In Leadership” event for the Lira Winston Fellowships on Sunday at St John’s Wood Synagogue in London, the Inter Miami CF owner discussed Lionel Messi’s decision to take his talents to South Beach.
“A couple of weeks ago, I woke up to about a million messages on my phone,” Beckham told the crowd, per The Athletic. “I was thinking, ‘What’s gone off? I don’t usually get this many messages.’ All of a sudden, I heard Leo has come out and announced he’s coming to Miami. Obviously, it wasn’t a surprise to me.”
Messi has not yet signed with the MLS side, but he made his next move public last month. He said in an interview with Mundo Deportivo that after his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expired, he will join Inter Miami over his former club FC Barcelona and instead of joining his rival/friend Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia.
Beckham’s stake in the American club began in 2007 as part of his contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy promised ownership in a future franchise. The team made its debut on the pitch in 2020. The former Three Lions captain is also a minority owner in British club Salford City and he cited South Florida’s proximity to Messi’s home country as part of the reason the Argentinian superstar chose the MLS team instead of staying in Europe.
But Beckham had his own reasons for recruiting the 2022 World Cup champion and seven-time Ballon d’Or winner into wearing pink.
“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,” he said. 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.”
Messi is expected to make his debut with Inter Miami, which is currently second from last place in the league, in a home game against Liga MX club Cruz Azul on July 21 in the Leagues Cup.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: David Beckham speaks publicly on Lionel Messi joining Inter Miami CF