Inter Miami CF co-owner David Beckham said the Major League Soccer club remains intent on signing global stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, or Neymar.
Speaking exclusively to ESPN’s Taylor Twellman, the ex-Manchester United and England midfielder said players of that caliber would be attracted to play in Miami once their playing days in Europe are over.
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“When we announced Miami, there was always going to be talk about what players we were going to bring in, whether it was Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar,” Beckham said. “There was always going to be those discussions. I actually don’t think it’s a tough one for players to decide, to be honest, because it’s a great place.”
Miami has several notable players on its roster, including Gonzalo Higuain, Blaise Matuidi, and Rodolfo Pizarro. However, the team finished in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, exiting the first round of the playoffs in a season that was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Beckham exercised his option to purchase an MLS franchise in 2014 following his retirement, with the league awarding the team to him and his business partners in 2018.
Beckham said a revived club in South Florida will pique the interest of global superstars looking for a new challenge.
“Obviously, it’s a great city, I feel like we’ve got a great fan base, but I also understand there’s great talent in Miami and South Florida, and I think we have a real opportunity,” Beckham said. “Miami is a city that has that pull on players who have been playing in Europe that are big stars.”
Beckham also said he is confident that newly appointed manager Phil Neville will get the best out of the club’s players going into its second year. Neville, who played alongside Beckham at Manchester United and England, was hired this offseason after a lackluster inaugural performance under Diego Alonso.
“[Neville] is the kind of coach that will get the best out of the players. He won’t just work with the [Designated Players], he works with the young kids that have come through the academies,” Beckham added.
“His experience being a part of one of the best academies in the game at Manchester United when we were growing up, working with different coaches.
“He was David Moyes’ assistant at Manchester United, he was an assistant coach at Valencia, and then obviously he went on to be the coach of the England women’s national team, which was a great experience, but also challenging at times.”