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From Trae Young to Kevin Durant: NBA Stars Welcome Lionel Messi to Inter Miami with Open Arms

From Trae Young to Kevin Durant: NBA Stars Welcome Lionel Messi to Inter Miami with Open Arms

Lionel Messi sent the world of football into a frenzy after he confirmed plans to join MLS side Inter Miami in the summer his PSG contract expires at the end of June. There was a lot of uncertainty over the future of the World Cup champion and rumours were flying all over the place about where he would be playing after leaving PSG.

There was a lot of talk about him making a heroic return to Barcelona after the teary goodbye in 2021, with some fans depicting a return as a potential ‘last dance’ in football. However, Barca’s financial issues and inability to adjust their La Liga wage bill didn’t allow them to make a competitive bid to bring him back.

Messi was also heavily linked to a move to Saudi Arabia to take part in a final duel with Cristiano Ronaldo. He was reportedly offered a whopping €1bn contract to play in the country for two years, the kind of money which would’ve settled him for life.

However, after taking all the offers into account, Messi decided to finally leave Europe after playing at a professional level in the continent since 2004. He will now be moving to the USA with his family and aim to bring more eyes to the MLS, as well as gradually help improve its quality and improve the world’s knowledge of US Soccer ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Messi’s announcement of an impending move to the David-Beckham-owned club has sent the football world into a craze. Inter Miami now have more people aware of their existence than they did a few days ago and their social media has seen a huge spike in numbers. For example, Inter Miami’s Instagram account had around 1 million followers ahead of the Messi announcement. Now it has over 6.5 million followers and increasing.

The presence of Messi will be hugely beneficial to making them one of the most renowned clubs in the world and attract more major players to come to play for them. The fans in the USA are going crazy about the prospect of watching a GOAT like Messi play in the MLS next season, with Inter Miami also getting a surged increase in supporters after the announcement.

With that being said, the football world isn’t the only one that is going gaga over Leo’s move to the USA. Being the phenomenon that he is, Messi is known by athletes competing in various sports. The world of NBA also can’t seem to contain their excitement at the prospect of watching the Argentine sensation perform live in the USA later this year.

As a matter of fact, even the NBA organizers themselves seem to be hyped about it and are trying to promote it as much as possible to grow the knowledge of football in the USA. In the recent-most game of the NBA finals between the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat, the TV screens at the Kaseya Centre in Miami lit up with a graphic welcoming Messi to Inter Miami.

Not only that, but the Miami faithful attending the NBA final clash also seemed to be super-hyped about the prospect of being able to watch Messi. Some fans brought the Argentina national jersey as a tribute to him, while some supporters already seem to have imprinted Leo’s name and iconic no.10 symbols onto an Inter Miami kit to celebrate his impending arrival.

The NBA fans, however, aren’t the only ones super hyped about Messi coming to the USA. Soon after the Argentine revealed his plans to join the MLS side, some of the biggest NBA stars also started to voice their excitement at the prospect of meeting the GOAT of football and watching him play in the same country as them.

Phoenix Suns star and two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant was among the first to publicly welcome him to the USA. The Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo also seems to be delighted with this news, as he tweeted: “Welcome to the MLS Messi!! See you at Nashville.”

Atalanta Hawks’ Point Guard and two-time NBA all-star, Trae Young, is also over the moon knowing that his dream to watch Messi play live will finally come true later this year, as he tweeted: “YESSSIR!! Gonna for sureeee watch Messi play now.”

Six-time NBA all-star and Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler, who impressed for his side in the loss to Denver on Wednesday, also voiced his excitement for the city of Miami to get to watch an icon like Messi and stated that he feels that more football fans will come over to the USA to watch him in action, improving the popularity and knowledge of the MLS as a whole.

It’s clear that the entire sporting sector in the USA is pumped up for the arrival of an iconic sportsperson like Leo Messi – who will not only be intent on improving the state of Inter Miami and guiding them to MLS glory – but also helping make football/soccer among the most popular sports in the USA with his irresistible presence.