June 7, 2024

Lionel Messi personally called former Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo to pitch the idea of joining him at Inter Miami.


Messi departed Europe last year following a short stint at Paris Saint-Germain, as well as a World Cup win with Argentina in Qatar in December 2022. Instead of joining his longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia, Messi was lured to MLS by David Beckham and Inter Miami.


Former Barcelona teammates Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez have all since joined Messi in the Sunshine State and their impact has been laid bare by their record start to the 2024 campaign, topping the Eastern Conference with 35 points in 18 games. Messi, Busquets and Alba also helped Inter Miami win last season’s Leagues Cup, as well as reach the U.S. Open Cup Final against the Houston Dynamo – but the franchise missed out on a playoff spot.


Messi also tried to talk another friend into joining him in Miami, personally calling former United and Argentina defender Rojo, to pitch the transfer. The 34-year-old is back playing in his beloved Argentina at Boca Juniors having left Europe after a decade-long stint playing for Spartak Moscow, Sporting Lisbon and the Red Devils.


Speaking to Radio La Red, Rojo revealed: “Leo called me, it’s not like it was just anyone or an intermediary, no one. I spoke with Leo Messi, who told me about the possibility of going to Inter. Imagine what that means for any footballer.


“The truth is I was not convinced to leave Boca, I had recently renewed. The only thing I did was communicate with Roman (Riquelme) to tell him about the situation and to tell him that if he needed me here I was going to stay.


“I wasn’t convinced to leave, I didn’t want to leave. If he told me that he needed me here for this year, I was 100% convinced to continue in Boca and I want to continue doing it.”


Messi called the ex-Man Utd defender to pitch the idea of moving to MLS


Rojo, a World Cup and Copa America runner-up, would’ve boosted Inter Miami, whose defence has been the main cause for concern this year, despite topping the East thus far. Miami has conceded the joint-tenth most goals in the Eastern Conference, tied with rock-bottom New England Revolution.


It’s in the midfield and attack where Inter Miami has made up ground, with Messi playing a part in 25 goals in just 13 MLS games – a league record.


Messi will now head to the Copa America to help Argentina defend its South American crown. The tournament is taking place in North America, as will the 2026 World Cup, where the Argentines will have to stage another title defence.

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