One of the Argentine legend's closest friends – former FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar – claims he was aware of Messi's impending move to South Beach well before the decision was made public.
"I already knew," the Brazilian superstar responded with a chuckle when asked to comment during an interview with NBA Brazil in Florida.
"... I already knew that he would come here and we already talked. I said to him that he would be very happy because of the city, the lifestyle and the opportunity of playing and living here in Miami."
The Messi Effect
Neymar, who captured two LaLiga titles, a UEFA Champions League (with Barcelona) and two Ligue 1 crowns (with PSG) alongside Messi, foresees MLS reaching unprecedented heights now that a deal appears imminent.
"I am sure that Leo will change the league here in the United States," he said of the seven-time Ballon d'Or recipient, regarded as one of the greatest players to ever step on a soccer field. "I think the league will become much more popular."
Just a few weeks shy of his 36th birthday, Messi remains as popular and as dominant a force as ever. Barely six months removed from lifting the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Argentina, La Pulga is coming off a 16g/16a season that guided PSG to their second straight Ligue 1 championship.
Whether it's in Miami or anywhere else, Messi should be obligatory viewing for all fans of the Beautiful Game, according to Neymar.
"I think everybody needs to enjoy and watch him play," the 31-year-old said. "Because unfortunately, nothing lasts forever."