Lionel Messi has once again set the world of football alight. Over the past six months, Messi has been the top headline-maker in football: winning the World Cup, his tug-of-war with Paris, rumors about Barcelona, and a €400 million offer from Riyad's Crescent... Now, with Messi announcing his move to Inter Miami, all eyes are on this American club as the dust finally settles.
Inter Miami's long-held dream has finally come true. After chasing Messi for five years, their dream has become reality. From the moment Messi joined, Inter Miami has undergone a true metamorphosis.
Behind Messi's transfer, 47-year-old David Beckham is undoubtedly the biggest winner. As a co-owner of Inter Miami, Messi's signing has hugely increased the club's value, influence, and appeal! Since retiring and becoming an owner, Beckham has truly hit the jackpot.
Perhaps even Beckham himself did not foresee the incredible economic impact of a decision made 16 years ago. All this can be traced back to 2007:
On January 11th of that year, Beckham confirmed his contract with LA Galaxy, while he still had six months left with Real Madrid. Surprisingly, at the age of 31, he left Europe's top-stage to "retire" in Major League Soccer (MLS). However, Beckham's financial prospects were anything but retired.
From 2007 to 2012, Beckham raked in a total of $250 million through salary, club profits, and image rights. With an average annual income of $50 million, Beckham became the top money earner in football.
Importantly, Beckham paved the way for himself to become an owner after retirement — he gained MLS admission rights for just $25 million. This was one of the conditions MLS set for Beckham's joining, and it laid the groundwork for the birth of Inter Miami.
For $25 million, Beckham got the "license" for his club to enter MLS, a bargain by any measure. In recent years, the admission fee has been rising, with NYCFC paying $100 million, FC Cincinnati paying $150 million, Charlotte FC paying $325 million, and by 2023, the fee had skyrocketed to $500 million!
Messi's arrival has further boosted the brand value of Inter Miami. According to a report by sports research firm Sportico, Inter Miami's market value in 2022 was $585 million, ranking 10th in MLS. With Messi's arrival, Inter Miami's market value is expected to reach $1 billion, making it the highest valued brand in MLS!
Choosing Inter Miami, Messi has simply been a godsend for Beckham…