Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets will be joining Inter Miami not for leisure, but to compete, according to Gerardo Martino, the newly appointed coach of the Major League Soccer (MLS) team.
Martino, who previously coached Messi and Busquets at Barcelona in the 2013-14 season and managed Argentina from 2014-2016, revealed that both players expressed their desire to come to Miami to achieve success.
During his introductory press conference on Thursday, Martino emphasized that the association of the United States and Miami with holidays does not apply in this case.
He stated, according to a Reuters report, “We want to compete… they are not footballers who are going to come here not to compete.”
Martino had already initiated talks with Inter Miami before Messi and Busquets confirmed their moves. – Read more: Video: Lionel Messi helps Argentina beat Australia 2-0
Martino took charge of Inter Miami following the dismissal of Phil Neville, the former Manchester United defender, after a poor run of 10 defeats and five wins that left the team at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
Expressing his attraction to the opportunity, Martino said, “I always found this opportunity attractive… let’s just say that the presents arrived next.”
Furthermore, Martino believes in the constant evolution of MLS and points to the success of American soccer players in Europe as examples.
He also highlighted the significance of having the world’s best player choose to play in the league, stating that it will further enhance the growth of MLS.
Martino expressed his optimism, saying, “I believe that the United States is not a country that misses out on this type of opportunity.”
Messi is expected to make his debut for Inter Miami on July 21 in a Leagues Cup match against Mexican side Cruz Azul.