Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath believes Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo could join David Beckham’s new MLS club in Miami.
Earlier this week, a group headed by Beckham finally received the green light for an MLS team in Miami to begin playing in 2020.
Beckham’s team will likely be helped by having a far bigger budget than the one Heath has to currently work with in Minnesota, and the former Everton player believes the backing of Beckham’s ownership group, which includes his manager Simon Fuller, along with businessmen Marcelo Claure, Masayoshi Sun and Jorge and Jose Mas, will ensure the world’s leading stars like Ronaldo or Messi can be lured to Miami.
“If you look at David’s ownership group, they are very wealthy guys — four billionaires,” Heath told Press Association Sport. “They aren’t going to come in and sit idly by while Atlanta and Toronto pay and play powerhouses.
“I don’t think they’re coming here to make up the numbers, I know for a fact they’re not going to be.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the two in Spain — Messi and Ronaldo — if one of them didn’t end up with David in a couple of years.
“It’s also a very attractive place for South Americans and they will be playing in a brand new stadium downtown. I certainly don’t think he’ll have a problem with his name.”
Miami’s introduction is part of a wider MLS expansion plan, and Heath was the first manager of both Orlando City and Minnesota when they joined the league, and he warned that it is not easy to put together a new club.
“My first day in the office in Minnesota, on Dec. 16. 2016, we had two players signed,” Heath said. “By Jan. 31 we had to have 28 players for pre-season. Not only did we have to bring players in, every player wants to know where he’s going to live, their security number if they’re from abroad, where the schools are, all these little things that become a real issue.
“Only the people who have been through it realize how difficult it is, it’s not easy, there are lots of things to overcome.”
Heath was hesitant to offer any advice to Beckham, but said the former England star has done well to surround himself with capable partners.
“David was a great ambassador, nobody can ever dispute that,” Heath said of Beckham’s playing days with the LA Galaxy. “Now he’s on the other side, he doesn’t need any advice from me. But the more people he gets around him, the better it will be.
“It is very challenging and you do need people with experience who have been through that.”