Former Manchester United star David Beckham has revealed how he persuaded Lionel Messi to join Inter Miami this summer.
The 36-year-old’s future became the subject of speculation after he failed to reach an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain to extend his stay at the club.
The Argentine was linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League, with several clubs ready to offer a bumper deal to secure his services.
Beckham has now revealed how he managed to sign arguably the best footballer on the planet.
“I sneaked into Messi’s dad’s hotel about four years ago in Barcelona for a meeting with him, and at that point, we weren’t ready to bring him and he wasn’t ready to come,” Beckham told Stick To Football.
“But I turned around to his dad and said ‘we want your son – we want him to come to Miami, when he is ready and if that’s a possibility’.
“We continued the conversations with my partners Jorge and Jose Mass, and we just worked on it for about four years.”
Messi’s move from Barcelona to PSG in 2021 ultimately opened the door for Miami to secure his services.
Many people felt he would see out his career with Barca, but their well-documented financial issues scuppered those plans.
With Messi linked with a move away from PSG earlier this year, Beckham seized the chance to sign him.
“When he was at PSG, we then saw an opportunity that he was either going to go back to Barcelona, but then all of a sudden everything aligned,” Beckham.
“We had made the offer but then he’d had offers from Saudi – he’d had offers to go back to Barcelona.
“And the Barcelona one kind of really worried me because it pulls on the heartstrings for him.
“He never really got to say a proper goodbye at Barcelona, so that was the one that really worried me. But then, it was down to him to decide.”
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