Lionel Messi’s arrival in Major League Soccer with Inter Miami triggered sold-out season tickets, record league subscriptions and more media coverage than the league had received in years, but there’s more to the Messi story than just the short-term frenzy.
The 36-year-old’s arrival has piqued the interest of European and South American soccer players who hadn’t seriously considered an MLS move until Messi did, too. Ex-Barcelona stars Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez signed with Inter Miami after Messi did.
The so-called “Messi effect” brought those three stars to MLS, but they’re in the twilight of their careers and unlikely to spend a long time in the league. So, the question remains: Could the “Messi effect” interest young players, too — particularly those with big-club prospects in Europe?
With just a few weeks to go until Messi’s first full season in MLS begins, the answer appears to be yes.
The Miami Herald reported Friday that Inter Miami is in advanced talks to sign Federico Redondo, a 21-year-old Argentinian midfielder playing for Argentinos Juniors in Buenos Aires. Redondo is the son of Argentina legend Fernando Redondo, and his slick, mature performances have caught the attention of European clubs such as Barcelona and Real Madrid.