Lionel Messi’s announcement of joining Inter Miami as a free agent has reverberated across the transfer market, causing significant ripples of surprise and intrigue. The Argentine is unquestionably the greatest signing in the history of a league that has featured giants such as David Beckham, Pele, Johan Cruyff, Andrea Pirlo, and many more.

When Lionel Messi showcases his talents on the pitch, the DRV PNK Stadium, home to Inter Miami, will become the ultimate destination in the United States. With the finalization of his transfer to Inter Miami imminent, Argentine superstar Lionel Messi arrived in Florida on Tuesday and declared himself ready for the new task of reviving the club’s woes.

Footage broadcast in Argentina showed Messi and his family arriving from a private plane at the Fort Lauderdale airport closest to Inter Miami’s stadium. The World Cup champion will reportedly sign a two-and-a-half-year contract worth $60 million annually before being unveiled to supporters at a stadium function on Sunday, July 16.

Inter Miami adds new seating for fans at Cruz Azul clash

Messi’s arrival in Major League Soccer presents a challenge, though, for Inter Miami. After declining to move games to the more spacious (and world-class) Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Inter Miami has chosen to stay within the small confines of their 18,000 temporary stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

To remedy the situation, Inter Miami is installing additional seats in the corner sections to boost the capacity by 3,000-4,000.

Inter Miami plans on having the seats completely installed in time for Leo Messi’s debut on Friday, July 21 for the game against Cruz Azul.

MLS club moving forward with ‘The Unveil’ and press conference

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s arrival at Inter Miami has prompted the club to prepare lavish celebrations. The superstar will be officially introduced to the club during a special occasion on Sunday, July 16 at Fort Lauderdale’s DRV PNK Stadium. There will be live performances, talks, and more during the event. The club has announced that season ticket holders may attend the event at no cost.

In addition, Inter Miami has announced a press conference on Monday, July 17 where Messi is expected to attend alongside club owners David Beckham and Jorge Mas.

The presence of the 36-year-old has sparked tremendous enthusiasm and expectation among Inter Miami’s fan base and the larger soccer world. All eyes will be on the great Argentine as he enters this new chapter to see how he responds to the unique difficulties and possibilities of playing in Major League Soccer and the thriving soccer culture in the United States.

Photo credit: Imago and Franco Panizo