the new life, the supermarket, Beckham and the milanesa-

the new life, the supermarket, Beckham and the milanesa-

Of Viviana Mazza, correspondent in New York

The Argentine will make his debut on Saturday, a 150 million dollar signing: he must relaunch American football. He chose Florida for serenity. If I had bet on the money I would have gone elsewhere

Simple things like going to the supermarket to buy cereal in flip flops with his wife and children were unthinkable for Messi in Europe and Argentina. Before the World Cup, as he left the Don Julio restaurant in Buenos Aires, a terrifying crowd overwhelmed him, as happens to pop stars and messianic cult gurus. Miami artists have painted murals in his honor, restaurants have included his favorite dish, Wiener schnitzel, on their menus, and last Thursday, as he pushed his shopping cart through the aisles of Publix, in Fort Lauderdale, he was asked for selfies and autographs, but
Leo Messi appears serene in his new life in Florida.
one of the advantages of playing soccer in America, if you are one of the most famous champions on the planet (Thierry Henry took the subway to his debut game when he played in New York).

Tom la deciden de ir in Miami, proclaimed la Pulga on June 7th. He could have been the highest paid athlete in the world, but he preferred Inter Miami, the worst team in MLS (Major League Soccer) to the Saudi prince MBS (Mohammed Bin Salman) for whom he remains his advertising ambassador. He turned down an estimated $1.3 billion offer, unlike his nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo and other stars (whom the Saudis haven't offered as much). If it had been a question of money – said Messi – I would have gone to Saudi or elsewhere. He would have preferred to return to Bara, where he grew up, but the team's financial situation which had forced him into a marriage of convenience with Paris Saint-German didn't allow it. Therefore, Miami - the unofficial capital of Latin America and the city with the largest Argentine community in the United States - is the closest alternative to a home (here, moreover, he has had a luxury apartment for years, with a lift for the car). Messi prefers Spanish, and in theory in South Florida he may never have to speak English. The first match will be this Friday (Saturday morning in Italy) against the Mexican team Cruz Azul, in the Leagues Cup, a tournament between MLS and Liga MX.

Choosing MLS means experiencing football in a different way," said Messi — enjoy daily life more. Obviously with the same spirit of responsibility and desire to win, but more calmly. The agreement, signed last Saturday and celebrated on Sunday with PresentSon at the Miami stadium, provides for an engagement of around 150 million dollars for two and a half years and a participation in the share capital of the team at the end. Messi, presented as America's number 10, the best number 10 in the world, received the pink shirt in a rain-soaked stadium of 19,000 fans, which may not have the energy of Camp Nou in Barcelona, ​​but he carries with s the romantic idea of ​​growing football into the biggest market in the world for anything but football. A failed experiment in the seventies with Pel, Chinaglia, Beckenbauer. In 2007, David Beckham signed with LA Galaxy and entered, still in the prime of his career, in the MLS, considered the League of pensioners for former European stars: to pay him, a new rule was created which allowed him to go over the maximum amount allowed (with Messi they did the same thing) and he was permission to found a new League team (Inter Miami) which he co-owned with the Cuban-American billionaire brothers Jorge and Jose Mas.

Messi's courtship started in September 2019, when a private jet landed in Barcelona. On board: Jorge Mas, Beckham himself and his best friend David Gardner. They met dad Jorge Messi: How many times in your life can you change sport? Mas said. There will be a before and after Messi. Mas was sitting in Messi's box in Doha during the final, when with the victory in the national team the Argentine champion conquered the last thing he personally lacked for having nothing less than Pel and Maradona. Growing football is not only a romantic idea, it will also help pay Messi: one of Apple's managers, Eddie Cue, another Cuban-American from Miami, would have offered him a percentage of the number of subscribers to stream MLS. To help convince him, Inter Miami will bring on board coach Gerardo Tata Martino, Sergio Busquets and possibly Jordi Alba (all former team-mates at Barca).

1,367 days have passed since that first meeting at Leo's. The hug with Beckham in the stadium was shared on social media by the team in a tweet that declared: Libertad para dream. Ten years ago when I started my journey to build a team in Miami, I dreamed of bringing here the greatest soccer players in the world – Beckham said -: people who share my dream of growing soccer in the United States

July 19, 2023 (change July 19, 2023 | 07:10)

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