Jimmy Butler ecstatic after Lionel Messi joins Inter Miami

Argentine has left French champions PSG

By Web Desk
June 09, 2023
Butler (R), a six-time NBA All Star, said that Miami will be strengthened by the arrival of the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner - AFP

Jimmy Butler believes that star footballer Lionel Messi's move to Inter Miami will prove beneficial for the game in the United States.

Butler, a six-time NBA All Star, said that Miami will be strengthened by the arrival of the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner.

"He's one of the greatest players to play that beautiful game," Butler told reporters on Thursday. "I'm so excited for the city of Miami, to be able to have a player of that calibre here.

"Now that he is here, I think all the football/soccer fans from all over the world are going to come here and get an opportunity to watch him compete. I'm glad he is here."

Messi, 35, will join Miami after his contract with French champions Paris Saint-Germain expires at the end of this month.

Butler, 33, is also looking forward to meeting Messi in the near future.

"Will I reach out? Probably not," Butler said. "I know he has probably got a ton of stuff going on anyway ... I know we will link whenever he is here."

Barcelona's financial problems reportedly quashed Messi's desire to reunite with the La Liga giants, where he rose to fame between 2004 and 21.

"I really wanted to return, I was very excited to be able to return, but, on the other hand, after having experienced what I experienced when I left, I didn't want to be in the same situation again. I didn't want to leave my future in someone else's hands,” Messi told Spanish media on Wednesday.

"Although I heard that it was said that La Liga had accepted everything and that everything was fine for me to return, there were still many other things that had to happen.

"I wanted to make my own decision and that's why I didn't return to Barca. Although I would have loved it, it couldn't be.

"Hopefully one day I can contribute something to the club and help because Barca is a club that I love as I always said."

Messi had signed for PSG from Barcelona in 2021 on a two-year contract.

As for the MLS, Messi's arrival would mark the league's biggest signing since David Beckham joined the LA Galaxy in 2007.