The Lionel Messi effect! Inter Miami QUADRUPLE their amount of Instagram followers to 4.5m in just a few hours after spectacular signing of World Cup winner

Lionel Messi Argentina Croatia 2022 World CupGetty
  • Argentine joining as a free agent
  • Ending spell in Europe
  • Fresh start being made in America

WHAT HAPPENED? The MLS outfit revealed on Wednesday that they have an agreement in place with the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner that will bring him on to their books from early July. The Argentine icon is moving to the United States as a free agent after opting against signing a new contract at Paris Saint-Germain. Interest from Barcelona and the Middle East has been snubbed in order to chase an American dream. Inter Miami – who are co-owned by Manchester United and England legend David Beckham – are now big news, with their number of Instagram followers jumping from around 900,000 on Wednesday morning to over 4.5 million in the space of less than 24 hours.

Inter Miami Instagram followersInstagram

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi made a similar impact at PSG upon joining the Ligue 1 outfit in 2021, with the French giants gaining 5.6m followers on social media in the space of a week. Those figures jumped up 15m in total – making the club the most-followed French institution on Instagram – while the club was said to have generated around €700m (£602m/$750m) in revenue within a year of Messi’s arrival at Parc des Princes.

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WHAT NEXT? Inter Miami will be hoping to enjoy a similar boost from commercial deals and merchandise sales, with Messi’s contract in America set to earn him a slice of a broadcast deal with Apple, while adidas – who have Messi within their talent stable and are one of MLS’ oldest sponsors – are also said to be helping to fund a stunning coup.