Thursday, April 25, 2024

David Beckham’s Inter Miami out to become ‘big club’ across the world

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Feb 2024

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David Beckham’s Inter Miami want to become one of the world’s top clubs on the field and a globally-recognised brand like the New York Yankees away from it.

The Manchester United and England great has been a gamechanger for the ever-evolving Major League Soccer since swapping Real Madrid for the LA Galaxy in 2007.

That unique deal gave Beckham the option to purchase an expansion club at a discounted price, leading to the foundation of Inter Miami six years ago.

There have been bumps in the road since the team’s first season in 2020 but the arrival of Lionel Messi – arguably the greatest player of all time – last summer has taken them to a new level.

Former Barcelona team-mates Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez have followed the Argentina skipper to a team that co-owner Beckham wants to aim for the stars.

Inter Miami assistant manager Javier Morales said: “I’m the fifth employee of this club so I know this club from the bottom.

“When I first spoke to David, he said he thinks this could be a big club. Obviously he came from Man Utd and he used to play for big teams. That is his idea.

“He wants Inter Miami to be a top team not just in the country but also in the world.”

Ambitious Miami’s quality saw them installed as the overwhelming bookmakers’ favourites to end 2024 as MLS Cup champions ahead of Wednesday’s curtain raiser.

They opened with a 2-0 win against Real Salt Lake and their favourites tag marks quite the turnaround from last term, when their memorable Leagues Cup triumph came during a dreadful MLS campaign.

“Right now the mentality is different and they (the former Barcelona players) used to win everything, they used to win a lot,” said Morales, who has risen from academy coach to his current role as assistant to Tata Martino.

“They arrived last June with the club and the expectations for us here are high. For them it’s not going to be an issue.

“For the kids and the young players in the team it could be a little bit different but to have those players guide them is going to be a good mix.”

Beckham’s grand plans for Miami are bearing fruit off the field as well as on it.

The Florida outfit was the most-searched sports team on Google in 2023 and recently returned from a pre-season tour of Hong Kong, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Their eye-catching pink shirts are flying off the shelves as Messi’s arrival and the draw of Miami combine to help transform the team into a growing global brand.

Chief business officer Xavier Asensi believes that the unique combination creates an aura around a club that means “the sky is the limit”.

“Do you like baseball? I don’t,” Barcelona’s former chief commercial officer said. “But do you have a cap with the NY of the Yankees? How cool is that? So, imagine if you like baseball… for me, that is the potential we have.

“We have the potential of the sexiness, the brand that can be a fashion. People are wearing it and they know what it is.

“Sometimes people wearing the Yankees cap think it is New York and they like New York. But it is the baseball team. We have that potential.

“In order to unlock that, only the best are enough. We need to surround ourselves with the best people to unlock the potential that we have as a brand. This is not just football, we can go bigger and better.”

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SoccerNews

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