Lionel Messi teases MLS fans, Beckham with hint at future move

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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/players/lionel-messi/" data-ylk="slk:Lionel Messi">Lionel Messi</a> and <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/teams/barcelona/" data-ylk="slk:Barcelona">Barcelona</a> played an exhibition match against <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/teams/real-madrid/" data-ylk="slk:Real Madrid">Real Madrid</a> in Miami in 2017. (Getty)
Lionel Messi and Barcelona played an exhibition match against Real Madrid in Miami in 2017. (Getty)

Nope. Don’t even start to go there. Lionel Messi almost surely is not coming to Major League Soccer anytime soon. He signed the richest contract in soccer history just a few months ago. He is, until you hear otherwise, a Barcelona lifer.

But “Lionel Messi hints at future MLS move” is a real headline today, because Messi appeared in a fun video on Instagram congratulating David Beckham on the announcement of Beckham’s MLS expansion franchise in Miami. At the end of the video, Messi says, “who knows, in a few years maybe you will give me a call”:

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Miami Messi? ( via @davidbeckham)

A post shared by Bleacher Report Football (@brfootball) on Jan 30, 2018 at 5:00am PST

The translation is a bit rough. And the smile on Messi’s face is telling. It’s a lighthearted comment. It means nothing.

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But hey, there’s a non-zero chance that Messi, at some point toward the end of his career, comes to MLS, right?

And Beckham owning a team in Miami, which has one of the largest Spanish-speaking populations in the U.S., can’t be a bad thing as far as Messi-to-MLS prospects are concerned, can it?

There’s virtually no chance of this happening anytime over the next few years. Messi’s salary alone is higher than the payroll of any single MLS team. And his buyout clause is $870 million, which is about 13 times as much as the annual revenue of MLS’s top earning franchise.

And if you want an idea of how serious Messi’s “hint” is, go watch retired Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt tell Beckham in a similar video, “If you need a striker, I’m the guy.”

But if you want to go crazy with the Messi-to-MLS fantasy, all power to you.

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.

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