Here's what's in store for Leo Messi at Inter Miami and in MLS

The Florida franchise is upgrading with the arrival of the Argentine star.

This Wednesday confirmed what is one of the most significant news stories so far in 2023: Lionel Messi will be joining Inter Miami for Major League Soccer (MLS). Soccer fans in the United States will be able to witness firsthand who many consider to be the best player of the last 17 or 18 years. Messi has earned this title among fans for his many goals, passes, assists and the outstanding performance he brings to every game.

On several occasions, the Argentine star, who is about to turn 36, has acknowledged that he enjoys soccer not only on the field but also on television. He analyzes his competition by watching their games. He also enjoys watching other teams play because it helps him learn about other soccer cultures. Without knowing for sure, he has most likely watched Inter Miami play, which will make up a large part of his next chapter on the field.

Inter of Miami: a 'tricontinental' foundation with a complicated beginning

In 2018, former English footballer David Beckham, along with Bolivian businessman Marcelo Claure and Japanese businessman Masayoshi Son, founded the Miami International Football Club, which is better known as Inter Miami. However, this new team was formed six years earlier, in 2012.

After the birth of Inter Miami was confirmed, MLS authorized its entry into the Eastern Conference starting in the 2020 season. In its debut year, the Florida franchise finished 19th.

The following season, Inter Miami failed to progress and finished 20th overall. It wasn't until 2022 that the team started to improve. It finished the season in 12th place. This year, it has dropped to the bottom of the ranking.

Its current roster is made up of many Hispanic players: two Argentines, two Mexicans, one  Dominican, one Costa Rican, one Ecuadorian, one Venezuelan and one Colombian. Messi will not be the first Real Madrid star to wear the Inter Miami jersey. The first was former Real Madrid and Juventus player, Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuaín (2020 to 2022).

MLS, an unstoppable growth

Major League Soccer is growing by leaps and bounds, even though it is far from being the sport with the largest number of fans in the United States. The fact that more and more soccer stars have been crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to live out their dreams of playing American soccer is proof of this.

Players such as Zlatan Ibrahimović, David Beckham, Kaká, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thierry Henry, Andrea Pirlo, Rafael Márquez, Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Gonzalo Higuaín and David Villa boosted MLS' image when they came to the United States in the first two decades of the 21st century. Carlos Valderrama, who played for three different teams over six seasons, and Hugo Sánchez were the first stars to play on North American fields.

MLS continues to grow. Lorenzo Insigne, Giorgio Chiellini, Héctor Herrera, Carlos Vela and Chicharito Hernández, among others, are some of the players who are impressing U.S. fans. As of July, Leo Messi will be added to the mix.