livescore logo

In Focus: Inter Miami are the perfect home for Europe's ageing stars
Copy icon

Mitchell Fretton
Argentina superstar Lionel Messi is linked with a move to MLS team Inter Miami
Argentina superstar Lionel Messi is linked with a move to MLS team Inter Miami

Lionel Messi is the latest in a long list of names to be linked with a move to MLS outfit Inter Miami.

The Argentinian icon, 35, is said to be putting any transfer talks on hold until after the World Cup but is believed to be open to a switch to the Florida franchise in the future.

Paris Saint-Germain's No30 would be joining the likes of Kieran Gibbs and DeAndre Yedlin in Miami — but his arrival would undoubtedly be the biggest in the club's short history.

Although reports have been rubbished by the Messi camp, it is not the first time that the club have been reported as a potential suitor for a big European star.

We take a look at why Inter Miami are so appealing to players moving across the pond.

Playoff contenders

The Herons climbed to a sixth-placed finish in the MLS Eastern Conference last season, their greatest achievement since joining the American top tier in 2020.

In 34 regular season matches, Phil Neville's side won 14, drew six and lost the remaining 14.

Despite a mixed batch of results, their 48-point haul was just enough to see them enter the playoffs where they came up against New York City FC.

Miami lost 3-0 to the 2021 champions, who went on to make the Conference Finals but fell short of a place in the MLS Cup — which was won by Los Angeles FC on penalties.

The 2022 season marked a significant improvement for Neville's men, who had previously never finished higher than 10th.

Should co-owner David Beckham decide to recruit more top talent from overseas, it would only strengthen their case as contenders for silverware in 2023.

Neville's revolution

Phil Neville could have the opportunity to manage more big names in the future
Phil Neville could have the opportunity to manage more big names in the future

Neville's toughest task was to transform a side that had not hit the heights the owners expected in their first MLS campaign.

The former England and Manchester United defender arrived in Florida in January 2021, but failed to impress in his first season.

Miami lost 17 of their 34 games, finishing well outside the playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

In the off-season, Neville renovated his squad with a number of incomings and departures.

Although Miami had an inconsistent season overall, the English coach had them finding their groove towards the end of the season, winning four of their final five MLS matches before the playoff defeat in the Big Apple.

Top talent

Inter Miami continue to add quality to their squad and this could have a domino effect with more superstars being keen on signing for the club.

With the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi previously making the switch to the Sunshine State, similarly respected names are now being lined up to play a role in the next chapter of the franchise.

A host of talent has been rumoured with a switch, including Barcleona's Sergio Busquets and AC Milan's Olivier Giroud, who are both approaching the twilight of their careers.

Beckham and Neville's sons are already involved with the club too — Romeo Beckham is yet to make a first-team appearance but Harvey Neville was given a cameo off the bench against Montreal last October.

Miami look set to continue to blend youth and experience to mould a squad capable of reaching the business end of the playoffs.

Living in luxury

Inter Miami's DRV PNK Stadium can fit 18,000 spectators
Inter Miami's DRV PNK Stadium can fit 18,000 spectators

Miami is known for the glamour, luxury and heat — something overseas stars will have to get used to if they are to leave European football behind.

The club's DRV PNK Stadium may only house a modest 18,000 fans, but there is the potential for expansion in the future, with talk of a new 25,000-seater stadium in the works.

The attractive lifestyle on offer to prospective recruits is thought to be sweetened by the wages on offer from Miami chiefs.

Rumours indicate that the club are willing to make Messi the highest-paid player in MLS history — the kind of money that would turn the head of any transfer target.

So despite the lower standard of football on offer compared to Europe's top five leagues, there are plenty of attractions that could explain the franchise's frequent links to some of football's biggest names.


Inter Miami CFMajor League SoccerLionel MessiArgentinaParis Saint-Germain
LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Footbal Scores & Sports News