Inter Miami In Talks to Sign Federico Redondo

Federico Redondo could be heading to South Florida soon…

Inter Miami is in talks to sign the 21-year-old Argentine soccer player, an Argentinos Juniors and Argentina youth international midfielder, according to ESPN.

Federico RedondoRedondo is the son of former Real MadridAC Milan and Argentina national team midfielder Fernando Redondo.

Cesar Luis Merlo was the first to report Inter Miami’s attempts to sign Redondo. One ESPN source described the talks as “advanced.”

Redondo qualifies as a U22 signing, a roster designation that allows him to be signed with a reduced hit of $200,000 on Inter Miami’s salary budget.

According to the Miami Herald, Inter Miami is set to offer an $8 million transfer fee in order to sign Redondo.

Redondo first broke into the Argentinos Juniors lineup during the 2022 season. He’s gone on to make 59 league and cup appearances, scoring two goals.

At youth international level, Redondo made four appearances with Argentina at the 2023 FIFA U20 World Cup, as well as six appearances with the U23s in the ongoing CONMEBOL pre-Olympic qualifying tournament.

Were he to make the move, Redondo would also join Argentine great Lionel Messi on Inter Miami’s roster.

Andrés Guardado Signs with Liga MX’s León

Andrés Guardado is making his triumphant return to Mexico.

The 37-year-old Mexican professional footballer, a midfielder who retired from the national team in 2023 after a record-breaking 179 appearances for Mexico, has been signed by Liga MX’s León side.

Andrés GuardadoThe former Mexico captain and five-time World Cup participant is returning to Liga MX after last playing for boyhood club Atlas in 2007. 

After leaving Atlas, Guardado had a lengthy 17-year run in European club soccer that took him through Deportivo La CoruñaValenciaBayer LeverkusenPSV Eindhoven, and most recently, Real Betis.

Guardado stands as the Mexican with the most seasons in European soccer and as the all-time non-domestic leader in appearances (218) with Real Betis.

“The Green and White Captain has been key in the sporting growth in recent years. With him, the team has qualified for European competitions four times and also won the Copa del Rey in 2022,” Real Betis said in a statement.

“The Club would like to effusively thank Guardado for his services and wish him all the best in the future.”

Under the guidance of new manager Jorge Bava, León kicked off the 2024 Clausura season on Wednesday with a 2-1 loss at home to Tigres.

Earlier in December, the 2023 Concacaf Champions League winners were knocked out in their debut match at the Club World Cup after a 1-0 loss to Urawa Red Diamonds.

Lionel Messi Named The Best FIFA Men’s Player for Third Time

Lionel Messi is the best… again.

The 36-year-old Argentine soccer superstar has won his third FIFA The Best men’s award, beating Manchester City‘s Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé for the honor.

Lionel Messi The timeline for the award was between December 19, 2022 — the day after Messi led Argentina to win the World Cup in Qatar — and August 20, 2023. 

Messi won the award mostly for his work at PSG and Inter Miami, having helped the French giants to another Ligue 1 title before moving to MLS in July and inspiring Interm Miami to their first-ever trophy, the Leagues Cup.

On the international level, Messi helped Argentina top CONMEBOL‘s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification table after six games.

Messi was not in attendance in London to collect the award.

The three nominees for the award were compiled, FIFA said, in collaboration with its “football stakeholders,” with short lists determined by two separate panels of former players and coaches. The winner of the award was then voted between journalists, fans, national team captains and managers.

The award is Messi’s third FIFA The Best title — his first coming in 2019 and second coming last year. He’s the only player to win the award three times.

He has also won a record eight Ballon d’Or awards.

Messi had a whirlwind 2023. In the first half, he won the French top flight for a second time but was booed by fans in his final games following a second successive round-of-16 exit from the Champions League.

The height of Messi’s season came after he joined Miami in July, when he swiftly inspired the franchise to win the Leagues Cup with a series of individual heroics, although the club missed out on the MLS Playoffs.

Here’s the full list of men’s awards:

The Best FIFA Men’s Player: Lionel Messi
Puskás Award: Guilherme Madruga (Botafogo-SP)
FIFA Fair Play AwardBrazil senior men’s players
FIFA Fan Award: Hugo Miguel Iñiguez
Men’s Coach of the Year: Pep Guardiola
Men’s Goalkeeper of the Year: Éderson (Man City) 

Men’s World XI:
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
Defence: John Stones (Man City), Kyle Walker (Man City), Rúben Dias (Man City)
Midfield: Bernardo Silva (Man City), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
Forwards: Erling Haaland (Man City), Kylian Mbappé (PSG), Lionel Messi (Inter Miami), Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid)

Manchester City ThisClose to Signing Argentina’s Claudio Echeverri

Claudio Echeverri is the Man (City) of the hour…

Manchester City are closing in on the signing of the 17-year-old Argentine professional footballer, a midfielder, from River Plate, according to ESPN.

Claudio EcheverriMan City have held formal talks with Echeverri and are nearing an agreement for the midfielder.

If a deal is reached, it’s likely that Echeverri would be loaned back to River Plate until at least the end of the Premier League season. It would be a similar arrangement to the one which eventually brought Julián Álvarez to Man City.

Álvarez was signed from River Plate in January 2022 but remained in South America until the following summer. He made his Premier League debut in August 2022 and has gone on to win the Premier League title, FA CupChampions LeagueSuper Cup and Club World Cup.

He was also part of the Argentina team which won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Echeverri, who sources have told ESPN was also receiving interest from Barcelona, is highly-rated and starred for Argentina at the under-17 World Cup earlier this month.

He has indicated to River Plate that he is unlikely to sign a new contract with his existing deal set to expire in December 2024.

City are not expected to make first-team signings during the January window but there could be departures from Pep Guardiola’s squad.

Kalvin Phillips is keen to move to find regular first-team football and is wanted by both Juventus and Newcastle. There has also been interest in defender Sergio Gómez and goalkeeper Zack Steffen.

The return of Kevin De Bruyne is set to give City a boost in January. The midfielder hasn’t played since the opening weekend of the season because of a hamstring injury but returned to training during the trip to Saudi Arabia for the Club World Cup.

Apple TV+ Releases Teaser for Lionel Messi Docuseries, “Messi’s World Cup: The Rise of a Legend”

Here’s a first look into the television docuseries about Lionel Messi’s spectacular career.

Apple TV+ has released a teaser trailer for Messi’s World Cup: The Rise of a Legend, the four-part docuseries that follows the 26-year-old Argentine football great’s impressive career.

Lionel MessiThe docuseries will premiere globally on February 21.

Messi’s World Cup follows the career of the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner through five FIFA World Cup appearances and his FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 win, in one of the most exciting finals in history.

In his own words, Messi tells the definitive story of his incredible career with the Argentina national football team, providing an intimate and unprecedented look at his quest for a legacy-defining World Cup victory.

The series also features personal interviews with Messi, alongside conversations with teammates, coaches, competitors, fans and commentators.

The docuseries charts his path from his first match with the Argentina national football team through several elusive World Cup wins, leading to his early retirement in 2016 and, ultimately, the comeback to become a FIFA World Cup champion and be crowned the 2022 tournament’s best player.

Messi’s World Cup: The Rise of a Legend is executive produced by Tim Pastore, Patrick Milling Smith and Brian Carmody, and Matt Renner of Smuggler Entertainment, alongside Jenna Millman and Juan Camilo Cruz.

The series is produced for Apple by Smuggler Entertainment in association with Pegsa.

Lionel Messi & Inter Miami CF to Play El Salvador in Friendly This January

Lionel Messi is heading to Central American…

The 36-year-old Argentine soccer star and his Inter Miami CF teammates will begin their preparations for the 2024 season with a friendly against the El Salvador national team in San Salvador on January 19, the club announced Thursday.

Lionel Messi The game at the Estadio Cuscatlán is the first confirmed match for Inter Miami ahead of the Major League Soccer (MLS) season, which is expected to begin in late February.

“We’re excited to start announcing our preseason plans and preparations ahead of a thrilling 2024 campaign,” Inter Miami chief soccer officer and sporting director Chris Henderson said.

“We look forward to facing the El Salvador national team in what will be a good first test for our squad against the best players from the country.”

The announcement follows Inter Miami’s denial last week that it had agreed to take part in the Riyadh Season Cup in Saudi Arabia in February. Event organizers had announced that Messi and Miami would face off against Cristiano Ronaldo‘s Saudi Pro League team Al Nassr as part of the event.

Inter Miami, though, said the announcement was “inaccurate” but that it looked forward to “showcasing our players on Inter Miami CF’s first international tour which will be announced in the coming weeks.”

Inter Miami, which failed to make the MLS playoffs, finished the 2023 season with a loss to Charlotte FC on October 21. The club then took on New York City FC in a friendly on November 10 to celebrate Messi’s record-extending eighth Ballon d’or award.

Despite failing to make the postseason, Messi made a huge impression when joining the club along with fellow former Barcelona stars Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba in July. Messi scored 10 goals to lead Miami to its first-ever title with the Leagues Cup as fans across the U.S. clamored to see the Argentine World Cup winner in action.

El Salvador is ranked 78th in the latest FIFA rankings and most recently drew home and away against Curaçao earlier this month.

Also on Thursday, Inter Miami announced that it has sold out season tickets for 2024, just over two weeks after they went on sale.

Endrick Called Up to Brazil’s National Team for Upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Endrick is answering the call…

The 17-year-old Brazilian soccer wonderkid and uncapped Palmeiras forward has been called up to Brazils squad for their FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Colombia and Argentina.

Endrick,The Real Madrid-bound soccer phenom has scored three goals in the last two games for Palmeiras.

“He is a player who has the potential to be one of the great talents,” Brazil coach Fernando Diniz said of Endrick. “We don’t know if it [talent] will be confirmed. It’s not pressure.

“It’s a reward and a future vision of what this kid can be. A boy born in 2006 producing what he produces catches my attention. And right now he is experiencing his best moment, playing against great teams in Brazil and managing to stand out.”

Endrick has scored 11 goals in 47 games across all competitions for Palmeiras this season. Real Madrid announced in December that Endrick would join them when he turns 18 in July 2024.

His father and agent, Douglas Ramos, told ESPN that his son’s inclusion in the Brazil team for the first team has caught them by surprise.

“To tell the truth, we were perhaps hoping to be called up to the Olympic team, which was my son’s focus,” Ramos said. “I hope it works out, we know his potential. Let it not be the last one, that more will follow.”

Among the other newcomers to the squad are forwards Pepê from FC Porto and Brighton and Hove Albion‘s João Pedro. Tottenham‘s Richarlison and Wolverhampton‘s Matheus Cunha were left out of the squad.

Brazil are without their top scorer Neymar, who underwent knee surgery after suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus in his left knee. Brazil play at Colombia on November 16, and host Argentina at the Maracana stadium five days later.

Diniz’s side is third in its qualifying group with seven points from four games. Brazil’s Football Confederation (CBF) announced on Monday that the team will play an international friendly against England at Wembley Stadium on March 23, 2024.

Lionel Messi Earns Record-Extending Eighth Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi has extended his record…

The 36-year-old Argentine soccer star, who currently plays for Inter Miami CF, has won the Ballon d’Or for a record eighth time, after leading Argentina to the FIFA World Cup title last year.

Lionel Messi

Messi, who beat out Manchester City striker Erling Haaland, becomes the first Major League Soccer-based player to claim the coveted prize, although the triumph comes largely on the back of his exploits with his country in Qatar.

Former Manchester United player and Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham handed his prize-signing Messi the award in Paris.

Haaland, who scored 52 goals last season as Manchester City won the Treble in 2022-23, finished second in the voting and won the Gerd Muller Trophy given to the best striker of the year.

“I couldn’t imagine having the career that I’ve had. Everything that I’ve achieved,” Messi said after getting his award. “The fortune I’ve had playing for the best team in the world, the best team in history. It’s nice to win these individual trophies.

“To win the Copa America and then the World Cup, to get it done is amazing. All of them [Ballon d’Or awards] are special for different reasons.”

Prior to Messi receiving his award, Barcelona and Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmatí won the Ballon d’Or Féminin after a record-breaking year with club and country. She helped Barça win Liga F and the Champions League last season, before leading Spain to World Cup glory in the summer.

In other awards handed out on Monday, Messi’s Argentina teammate Emiliano Martinez won the Yashin Trophy for best goalkeeper and England and Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham was handed the Kopa Trophy as the world’s top player under the age of 21.

During his acceptance speech, Messi made a point of wishing Argentina countryman Diego Maradona happy birthday. The 1986 World Cup winner, who died on November 22, 2020, would have been 63 on Monday.

“My last mention is for Diego [Maradona],” Messi said. “Today is his birthday. So I would like to remember him from here, surrounded by the best players, coaches and people who love football like he did.

“Wherever you are, Diego, happy birthday. This goes also to you.”

Even prior to Monday’s ceremony in Paris, no player had won the Ballon d’Or more times than Messi, who first won it in 2009 and then again in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021.

Cristiano Ronaldo has won it five times, while Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten are all three-time winners.

Messi scored 21 goals in 41 appearances last season as Paris Saint-Germain retained the Ligue 1 title before moving to Inter Miami earlier this year.

Since moving to the U.S., he has scored 11 goals in 14 games for Miami, helping the franchise win its first-ever piece of silverware, the Leagues Cup.

However, he missed several matches through injury at the end of the regular MLS season as Gerardo “Tata” Martino‘s side came up short in their late push for a playoff spot.

It is Messi’s performances at the World Cup at the end of 2022 which have earned him an eighth Ballon d’Or, though, as Argentina ended a 36-year wait to be crowned world champions for the third time.

Messi, as captain, was instrumental to Argentina’s success in Qatar, scoring seven goals and assisting three more as he was named as the Player of the Tournament.

He scored twice in the final and again in the penalty shootout against France as Lionel Scaloni‘s team edged one of the most memorable showpieces in the competition’s history.

Having come up short with Argentina at four previous World Cups, including losing the 2014 final to Germany, it was deemed by many to be his last chance to get his hands on football’s biggest prize.

At 36 years and four months old, he also becomes the second oldest player to ever win the Ballon d’Or, replacing last year’s winner Karim Benzema. Only the inaugural winner, Stanley Matthews in 1956, was older when he won it aged 41.

Messi’s first six Ballons d’Or were won while he played for Barcelona, where he is the club’s record goalscorer and appearance holder, while he won it for a seventh time shortly after joining PSG in 2021 following Copa America success with Argentina.

Aitana Bonmatí Claims Ballon d’Or Féminin After Record-Breaking Year

Aitana Bonmatí is officially soccer’s biggest female star…

The 25-year-old Spanish professional footballer, a Barcelona and Spain midfielder, has claimed the Ballon d’Or Féminin after a record-breaking year with club and country.

Aitana BonmatíBonmatí helped Barça win Liga F and the Champions League last season, before leading Spain to World Cup glory in the summer.

She was named Player of the Tournament in Australia and New Zealand and was also recently crowned UEFA Women’s Player of the Year. Bonmati won the Ballon d’Or ahead of Australia forward Sam Kerr and Spain winger Salma Paralluelo.

“I want to congratulate all the nominees. All of them are great and inspiring footballers. As role models we have a responsibility on and off the pitch. We should be more than athletes. Keep leading by example and keep fighting together for a better, peaceful and equal world,” Bonmatí said after receiving the award.

At the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris, Barcelona were also awarded as the women’s team of the year.

Bonmatí’s teammate Patri Guijarro and Barça president Joan Laporta received the recognition on behalf of the club.

It’s the third year in a row that a Barça player has clinched the Ballon d’Or in the women’s game, with Bonmatí succeeding teammate and back-to-back winner Alexia Putellas.

“Spain has something unique. In recent years we have achieved a lot with our clubs and the national team,” Bonmati told reporters.

“It says a lot that we won the Ballon d’Or three times in a row. We are a country that lives football, and we work hard every day to be the best.”

After claiming the prize in 2021 and 2022, Putellas missed the majority of last season with an ACL injury, although she did return to play a part in Spain’s World Cup triumph.

In Putellas’ absence, Bonmatí, who came fifth in the 2022 Ballon d’Or, took the spotlight in a more attacking role at Barcelona, scoring nine goals and assisting 10 more in 23 appearances as Barça won Liga F for a fourth successive season.

She also starred in the Champions League, registering a competition-high 13 goal contributions (five goals and eight assists) in 11 appearances as Barça won the title for a second time.

At the World Cup, she scored three times and set up two more goals as Spain won the competition for the first time, beating England 1-0 in the final in Sydney.

Bonmatí first broke into the Barça side in 2016 and has since made over 200 appearances for the club, winning four league titles, two Champions Leagues, five Copas de le Reina and three Spanish Super Cups.

She made her Spain debut in 2017 and had won 57 caps for her country, scoring 21 goals.

Lionel Messi Among Finalists for MLS’ Newcomer of the Year Award

He may have only played in six MLS matches, but Lionel Messi has certainly made an impression.

The 36-year-old Argentine soccer star has been named one of the three finalists for Major League Soccer’s Newcomer of the Year award following his debut season with Inter Miami.

Lionel Messi Messi is nominated alongside Atlanta United striker Giorgos Giakoumakis and St. Louis City SC midfielder Eduard Löwen.

The World Cup winner had also been listed as one of 30 nominees for the league’s MVP award earlier this month as one of two players put forward by Miami during the club-nomination phase.

However, he didn’t make the cut for the top three shortlisted on Thursday, missing out to FC Cincinnati front-runner Luciano Acosta, Golden Boot winner Denis Bouanga of LAFC and Messi’s young Argentina teammate Thiago Almada of Atlanta.

Following his signing on a free transfer, Messi enjoyed a dream start to life in Miami. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner scored 10 goals in seven games to lead the club to its first trophy with the lifting of the Leagues Cup. He also played in Miami’s U.S. Open Cup semifinal victory over Cincinnati.

However, Messi’s appearances in MLS league play were limited by a leg injury suffered while on duty with Argentina in September. He was able to play just 372 minutes in six appearances (four starts), scoring one goal and providing two assists as Miami missed out on a place in the MLS playoffs.

Fellow nominee Giakoumakis finished second in the Golden Boot race with 17 goals and three assists in his first MLS season, while former Germany youth international Löwen had six goals and 14 assists in 29 appearances.

While Messi had limited impact on the field in his first season in MLS play, his arrival in the United States caused a surge in ticket and merchandising sales.

Inter Miami managing owner Jorge Mas said earlier this month that “everything has changed” since Messi’s arrival at the club. In a post on Instagram earlier this week, Messi said he was “proud of everything the team accomplished this season.”

The awards are voted on by current MLS players and coaches, technical directors/general managers and select media members. Winners will be announced throughout the MLS playoffs.

Here’s the full list of nominees:

Landon Donovan MLS MVP
Luciano Acosta, FC Cincinnati
Thiago Almada, Atlanta United
Denis Bouanga, LAFC

Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year
Bradley Carnell, St. Louis City SC
Wilfried Nancy, Columbus Crew
Pat Noonan, FC Cincinnati

MLS Newcomer of the Year
Giorgos Giakoumakis, Atlanta United
Eduard Löwen, St. Louis City SC
Lionel Messi, Inter Miami CF

MLS Young Player of the Year
Thiago Almada, Atlanta United
Duncan McGuire, Orlando City SC
Aidan Morris, Columbus Crew

MLS Goalkeeper of the Year
Roman Burki, St. Louis City SC
Roman Celentano, FC Cincinnati
Pedro Gallese, Orlando City SC

MLS Defender of the Year
Yeimar Gomez Andrade, Seattle Sounders FC
Matt Miazga, FC Cincinnati
Tim Parker, St. Louis City SC

MLS Comeback Player of the Year
Joao Paulo, Seattle Sounders FC
Alan Pulido, Sporting Kansas City
Miles Robinson, Atlanta United