Lionel Messi is set to be handed the key to the city of Fort Lauderdale after his move to Inter Miami. The Argentina captain completed a move to the MLS club as a free agent.
On Sunday, July 16, Messi was given a hero's welcome by the club at the DRV PNK Stadium. Local mayor Dean J Trantalis is now set to hand Messi the key to Fort Lauderdale. He said (via Daily Mail):
"I’m planning to attend the first game and we hope to meet him. On behalf of the city, I will be presenting him with a key to the city, to show that we have an open door and an open heart for him and his family as they make their home here in Fort Lauderdale."
"It’s good times in the world of soccer here in South Florida."
Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas, meanwhile, said during Lionel Messi's rapturous welcome:
"Tonight is a gift and celebration to the city that opened its arms to my family. Tonight we are doing this in the rain. This is holy water! This is our moment! Our moment to change the football landscape in this country."
"When David (Beckham) and I first met and we dreamt of what Inter Miami represents, it started off with the freedom to dream. And we dreamed of not only bringing elite players and the best players but the best player to ever don boots — and his name is Lionel Andres Messi."
It will be interesting to see how the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner fares at Inter Miami.
Lionel Messi spoke after being announced as an Inter Miami player
Lionel Messi was recently announced by Inter Miami as their player. The move is a historic one for the MLS and US Soccer in general. While superstar names have previously graced the MLS, Messi is set to elevate the league to a new level.
The Argentina captain spoke after being introduced as a player for the MLS club. He outlined his aims and ambitions for the Miami-based team. Speaking on the move, Messi said (via Evening Standard):
“I’m very excited to start this next step in my career with Inter Miami and in the United States. This is a fantastic opportunity and together we will continue to build this beautiful project. The idea is to work together to achieve the objectives we set, and I’m very eager to start helping here in my new home.”