David Beckham excited football fans when he announced his new Major League Soccer club, Inter Miami. And now, according to reports, he aims to top that by securing a world-class signing in the name of Lionel Messi.
This is as written by the Daily Mail, claiming that a number of executives at other clubs in the USA’s top-flight believe that the Englishman looks to make a statement by landing a marquee signing. A number of top names have been linked with Beckham’s side; however, the former Man United star reportedly has his eyes set on the Argentine icon.
Inter Miami’s debut is scheduled for 2020, a year before Leo’s current Barcelona contract comes to an end. This means the new club could only realistically acquire the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s services when he is 33 or 34.
Nonetheless, he should still be a big-name even at that age and would be a steal for the Major League Soccer outfit. It should be stated, however, that a source close to Beckham revealed that no contact has been made the Camp Nou favorite but he would be a target if a move can be pulled off.
Whether it can be pulled off or not is the question, as Messi’s has declared his intention to finish his career with the Blaugrana many times before. La Pulga has also flirted with the idea of returning to boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys but his rocky relationship with his home nation over his failure to guide La Albiceleste to a trophy could ruin that.
As a result, should Messi consider leaving the Catalan giant, a move to North America could become a viable option. This report also coincides with the belief that Major League Soccer can soon move away from being a mega-money option for big names nearing retirement to attracting European players in their prime.
In a related development, Lionel Messi has admitted that he needs to improve his penalty-taking skills after a career in which he’s had a mixed record from 12 yards.
In total, Messi has missed 24 times from the penalty spot. At times, his own relative lack of confidence shows, as during Barcelona’s 8-2 win over Huesca, when he gave penalty duties for an injury-time attempt to Luis Suarez, despite being on a hat-trick.
“I would like to be more effective from the penalty spot,” Messi told Catalunya Radio. “But it’s difficult to work on penalties.
“It’s not the same taking them in training as it is in a game. You can have an idea in your head or something you have worked on, but it’s more difficult than it seems.
“The goalkeeper has a lot to do with it, too. If they guess right, they save it. But it’s obvious that I’d like to get better at taking penalties.”
Although his penalty record remains middling, other areas of Messi’s game have continued to improve, with the 31-year-old topping the La Liga charts for goals created, and scoring seven direct free-kicks in the league in 2018.
“I’m most proud of how my final pass has improved,” he said. “In the last year, I think I have developed a lot when it’s come to setting up chances, whether they’ve ended up in goals or not. In that sense, I have grown a lot.
“I’ve also improved at taking free kicks a lot, even with my right foot. I am always trying to learn and improve every day.”
Messi explained how his role has changed since he burst onto the scene as a precocious teenager, as he’s gone from winger and occasional false nine to someone who likes to drop deep in search of the ball.
“It’s normal that your game evolves,” the Barcelona legend said. “When I made my debut I was 17. I played in a different position and in a different way back then.
“Football has changed since, as has my way of playing and moving around the pitch.
“I like where I play now the most.
“Teams sit deep and put a lot of people in the middle, so it’s easier getting the ball a little deeper and coming inside from further out.
“Moving to the wing means that a lot of the time, the full-back doesn’t know what they’re meant to do.
“In the middle, it’s harder to get the ball, because there are fewer spaces and a lot of bodies.”