- Messi set to join Inter Miami
- Sartini aims dig at Argentine
- Insists Whitecaps play better than him
WHAT HAPPENED? Messi announced that he will be completing his long-awaited move to the MLS as he is set to sign with Inter Miami. The decision had such an overwhelming impact that right after winning the Canadian Championship, Caps coach Sartini was talking about the Argentine's arrival on the other side of the Atlantic. However, the Italian was at his usual witty-best as he fired a warning straight to the 2022 World Cup winner about the threat Vancouver can pose.
WHAT THEY SAID: “I’m really happy with how we played for 80 minutes. For 80 minutes it was like… Messi’s coming, but the Whitecaps play better than Messi," he told.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: However, Whitecaps CEO Axel Schuster, had little doubt about the commercial potential of the deal as the world will now turn their attention to the MLS to catch a glimpse of the footballing icon.
“I can only be reminded of the time when I was in Europe and Zlatan came over, how much more attraction this league got in Europe because Zlatan was here. And now we get the greatest of all time. I don’t think anybody can really imagine right now what that means for the league,” he said.
"It will have an impact on everyone because everyone will look a little bit more closely at this league. Why is Messi going there? What is behind that? Why you took that over bigger dollars in some other markets? And they will watch the competition, and they will see how teams do … and how he has an impact in this league but also how the guys next to him look like and I think this is what the league needs. We still need more understanding of the world of what the level of our league really is at this point," he added.
IN TWO PHOTOS:Getty/GOAL
WHAT NEXT? Messi could face Sartini's Caps if both Inter Miami and the Western Conference side make it to the final of the Leagues Cup in August.