NBA

Heat star Jimmy Butler plans to link up with Lionel Messi after signing for Miami’s MLS team

Disclosure
We independently review everything we recommend based on our strict editorial guidelines. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn More
Lionel Messi - World Cup Final 2022 penalty celebration vs France - 181222-16x9

While the Heat are trailing 2-1 in the NBA Finals series against the Denver Nuggets, squad star Jimmy Butler had one reason to smile beyond the basketball courts. The foward couldn’t hide his excitement for Lionel Messi announcing that he’s heading to Florida to play for MLS team Inter Miami. 

The soccer sensation, who recently led Argentina to the World Cup title back in December 2022, is considered one of the best players to ever grace the sport, if not the best. Butler, who is a fan of the game, has met the Latin American star in the past.

“A lot of good. Obviously, he is one of the greatest players to play that beautiful game. I’m so excited for the city of Miami, to be able to have a player of that caliber 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,” Butler expressed.

The Heat star is also a friend of Messi’s former teammate, Neymar Junior. It is also well-known that he enjoye a close friendship with Juventus player Paul Pogba.

The 33-year-old wasn’t the only player from the Heat roster to show excitement over Messi’s upcoming arrival. Check out what they said about the massive news in the video below:

The announcement of the Argentinian’s move to Florida has broken the internet since this Wednesday, as the player is expected to join Inter Miami once his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires by the end of June.

Messi’s move to the United States not only raises the profile of the league, but also awakens curiosity over how will he perform in his first adventure outside of European football.

The World Cup winner was very close to head to the Middle East, as he had record-breaking offer from Saudi Arabian side Al-Hillal. Besides this opportunity, he also considered returning to his beloved Barcelona, but due to financial regulations it became complicated.

Messi talked to the press about his decision and why coming to Florida was the best option for him and his family

This Wednesday morning the world woke up to shocking news when Messi announced his new destination. “I made the decision that I’m going to go to Miami,” he said.

“I still haven’t closed it 100%,” the 35-year-old admitted. “I’m still missing a few things, but we decided to go ahead. If Barcelona didn’t work out, I wanted to leave Europe, get out of the spotlight and think more about my family.”

About the reasons why he chose the United States to finish off his career, he implied that he’s mostly looking to enjoy this experience, not neccesarily to compete at the highest level.

“After winning the World Cup and not being able to go to Barca, it was time to go to the U.S. league to experience football in a different way and enjoy the day-to-day,” Messi said.

Many fans were expecting him to take the same road Cristiano Ronaldo did when he signed for a Saudi Arabian squad, but the veteran star assured that money did not influence his decision.

“If it had been a question of money, I would have gone to Arabia or elsewhere where they offered me a lot of money,” he concluded.