MIAMI – Artist Maximiliano “Maxi” Bagnasco was painting one of his realistic massive murals in Miami’s Wynwood. This time he was portraying Inter Miami CF’s new star Lionel Messi.
David Beckham was with Bagnasco at the site of the mural, on the western wall of a mixed-use building at 148 NW 28 St. Like Messi, one of the world’s greatest soccer players, Bagnasco was born in Argentina.
“I say I’m slowing spreading Argentina throughout the world as I paint its most famous personalities in other countries,” Bagnasco said on Monday in Spanish. “I get up at 6 a.m., so I can be here at 7, until the sun goes down, which is around 8 p.m.”
Messi, a forward, has played for FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, and the Argentina national team. He turned down teams from around the world to join the team co-owned by Beckham and his partners, Jorge and Jose Mas, for $54 million per season, for four years.
Bagnasco said Beckham’s visit to the site was unexpected.
“It was an incredible surprise, and he’s a very humble person, which surprised me as well,” Bagnasco said.
Messi did weigh options with Barcelona, where he spent more than 20 years. There was also a deal of upward of $1 billion from the Saudi Arabian football club, Al Hilal. The Inter Miami CF deal will likely be sweetened by Apple and Adidas, as well as by Major League Soccer team ownership incentives.