Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi was officially unveiled as an Inter Miami player at an extravagant event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,
Sunday night, kicking off the next stage of his storied career and bringing one of the world’s most recognizable and bankable athletes to North America.
Messi was revealed to a sold-out crowd at Miami’s DRV PNK Stadium, the team’s temporary home while it builds its own dedicated venue.
Around 20,000 people reportedly braved one of Florida’s renowned summer storms to greet the star for his first official
ppearance since he announced his decision to join the club in June——additional seating was erected to expand capacity at the 18,000 capacity stadium.
Messi was hailed as “America’s number 10, the world’s best number 10” and welcomed with a pink No 10 jersey bearing his name.
Speaking in Spanish, the star said he is “very moved to be here in Miami”
and is “anxious to train and compete,” adding that he wants to help the club win and grow.
David Beckham, British co-owner of Inter Miami and a global soccer star in his own right,
said the event marked a “typical Miami welcome for one of the greatest players to ever have played the game.”