It rained very hard.
There was a two-hour weather delay.
Lionel Messi appeared. Wow.
There was a feeling of the rain stopping from the clouds clearing because of the fans cheering in attendance.
The anticipation ended.
Messi has arrived.
The Argentina superstar inked a multiyear deal with Inter Miami CF worth between 50 million and 60 million per year from his salary, signing bonus, and equity in the team.
Messi becomes the highest-profile signing to hit MLS since David Beckham joined LA Galaxy in 2007.
“I am very happy to have chosen to come to this city with my family, to have chosen this project, and I have no doubt that we are going to enjoy it very much,” Messi said after his introduction.
Messi earned over $100 million a year in playing salary and bonuses while at Barcelona. His pre-tax salary at PSG the past two seasons was roughly $70 million annually, including bonuses.
Messi left money on the table to come to MLS. He could have earned a reported $400 million yearly to play in the Saudi Professional League.
“I can’t wait to start training to compete,” Messi added. “I feel the same desire I’ve always had to compete, to really want to win and help Miami grow.”
Messi’s former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets also was introduced as an Inter Miami player after signing his deal.
Inter Miami is in last place in the MLS currently this season. But the night they introduced Messi, they felt like number one in the world.