Blaise Matuidi: I'm not with Inter Miami CF for vacation, I came expecting to win

Blaise Matuidi - Inter Miami CF - Close up

When Inter Miami CF signed Blaise Matuidi last summer, the French midfielder became the 12th FIFA World Cup-winning player to come to MLS

That's the crown jewel of the 33-year-old’s trophy cabinet, one that includes four Ligue 1 titles while at Paris Saint-Germain and three Serie A crowns while at Juventus.

Given that track record, Matuidi expects much of the same as he enters his first full season with Inter Miami.

“I came here to win,” Matuidi said in a Haute Living interview. “I’ve won a lot in my career, but to win in MLS will be very special for me.”

Matuidi registered one goal and one assist in 15 games (14 starts) last season, swapping between center back and center mid as Inter Miami chased a postseason spot. They eventually got the final Eastern Conference place (No. 10 seed) in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, though fell in the Play-In Round against then-fellow expansion side Nashville SC

With an offseason to prepare, Matuidi hopes they can turn the corner in 2021. The club has a new head coach in Phil Neville, and there’s an overall recharge after a pandemic-hampered entry to MLS.

“To come to America was a dream I’ve had since I was young,” Matuidi said. “I am not here for a vacation; I’m here to pursue my passion, to play soccer. I am a champion, and when a champion goes somewhere, he goes there to win.”

Matuidi also revealed that he had other options in Italy upon departing Juventus, but was drawn by Inter Miami’s project. Co-owner and president of soccer operations David Beckham played a role, encouraging him to depart Europe at this stage of his career. Playing alongside ex-Juventus teammate Gonzalo Higuain and Mexico national team midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro is a bonus, too. 

“The project and David made my decision,” Matuidi said. “I had the possibility to stay in Italy. I was in one of the biggest clubs in Europe, Juventus FC, but when there was this opportunity, I felt like I couldn’t pass it up. Like I said, it’s been a dream since I was young to finish my soccer career in MLS, so I’m happy I made this decision.”

For more from Matuidi, check out the entire Haute Living piece here