WHAT HAPPENED? Messi enjoyed a lightning start to his MLS career after joining Inter Miami, scoring 11 goals in 12 appearances, but franchise co-owner Beckham said it’s the everyday things the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner does in training that have left him open-mouthed.
WHAT THEY SAID: “I played against [Lionel Messi] for PSG [Paris Saint-Germain] and for Real Madrid, against Barcelona, and obviously he was unbelievable then, but it’s not until you physically see him, and you’re sat there watching him, and every move that he does – he never gives the ball away,” Beckham said on The Overlap. “When Lionel first joined and arrived in Miami and he was training, I was there for the first five weeks. I was in the training ground at 7am every morning just to watch him – and I’m 48 years old, so just to watch him do what he does, train the way that he does, prepare – it’s just different.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Speaking to a panel including former Manchester United team-mates Gary Neville and Roy Keane, Beckham added on Messi’s insatiable desire for success: “We all grew up in an era of, ‘you have to run, you have to chase’, and then you watch him [Messi]. He’s clever, his brain works in different ways. He sees things that other players just don’t see for five minutes after that. It’s just amazing to watch – so everything, he never gives the ball away, his work ethic is still there, he won the World Cup last year and he’s as hungry as he was when he was a young kid.”