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‘I’m so happy to be here’: Inter Miami present Messi, Busquets with fanfare

LIONEL Messi expressed excitement in the early hours of today as he was formally presented to Inter Miami fans, along with Sergio Busquets.

Both former Barcelona teammates, who won tons of silverware together at the Spanish giants, have joined the Major League Soccer club and were at the team’s stadium before a large crowd for their formal unveiling.

“I’m so happy to be here! I can’t wait to start training and competing. I’m here to compete, to win, to help the team as I always did,” said Argentina captain Messi, who has signed a two-year deal believed to be worth around $60m per year.

“I come here with the same desire as always. We will enjoy a lot. I want to thank the Miami fans since I got here! I feel your love and support.

“Now I want to start training and competing, because I came here with the same desire as always.

“We are going to have a good time and nice things are going to happen.”

Former England and Manchester United captain David Beckham, who was also a global superstar in his playing days, is a co-owner of Inter Miami, and his influence was key in attracting Messi and Busquets.

“Like all of you I can’t wait to see Leo Messi wear our jerseys and play the games. Ladies and gentlemen the new chapter of our story begins here,” said the former Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain winger, who made a huge move to Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS back in 2006.

Messi was the major focus of the night at a packed 18,000-capacity DRV PNK Stadium, with several American superstars, including basketball’s Stephen Curry, sending video messages to welcome Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain.

“He’s finally here, the greatest soccer player to ever grace this earth. World Cup champion, seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, four-time Champions League winner. The greatest global athlete ever,” the announcer said as the 36-year-old Messi was introduced.

Inter Miami will hope the arrival of forward Messi and midfielder Busquets will change their fortunes.

They are currently bottom of both the Eastern Conference and the entire 29-team league with just 18 points from 22 matches, and lost their last match 3-0 at St Louis City.

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