Inter Miami have completed the signing of former Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets on a deal until 2025, the Major League Soccer side said on Sunday.

Busquets, 35, will be reunited with his friend and former team mate Lionel Messi after not renewing his contract at Barca following an 18-year stay. Miami made the long-awaited confirmation of Messi’s signing official on Saturday.

The 2010 World Cup winner will join the squad in the coming days and will occupy a designated player slot, the club added.

“I am excited to welcome Sergio Busquets to Inter Miami,”

“Since day one we have set out to bring the world’s best players. Sergio’s repertoire speaks for itself.”

Said managing owner Jorge Mas.

The former Barcelona captain, who retired from international duty last year, played more than 700 games for the Spanish champions, winning nine LaLiga crowns, seven Copa del Rey titles, three Champions League trophies and three Club World Cups.

Busquets was also linked with a move to Saudi Arabia as Al Hilal and Al Nassr made bids for his services, according to media reports.

Miami expect Busquets to be available to play next Saturday when they host Mexican side Cruz Azul for their Leagues Cup opener, when Messi is set to make his debut.

The MLS designated player rule allows clubs to acquire up to three players whose total compensation and acquisition costs exceed the salary cap.

“This is a special and exciting opportunity that I’m very excited to take. I’m looking forward to this next step in my career with Inter Miami,”

“I was impressed by the club when I came with Barcelona last year and now I’m happy and ready to represent the club myself. I can’t wait to help bring the success that this ambitious club strives for.”

Busquets said in a press release.

Busquets also has a solid relationship with recently hired Inter Miami coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino, the former head man at Barcelona (2013-14) who also had a solid bond with Messi.

“We’re very happy to bring somebody of Sergio’s pedigree to Inter Miami,”

“He is one of the smartest players to ever play the sport; he reads the game at an unprecedented level and impacts every facet of play.

“Sergio is a winner, a leader and a world-class talent, and we’re excited to see him represent our franchise.”

Sporting director Chris Henderson said in a news release.

Inter Miami is experiencing a tough MLS campaign and has the worst record (5-14-3, 18 points) in the 29-team league. The Herons are winless in their past 11 MLS matches (0-8-3) and haven’t won since a 2-1 home win over the New England Revolution on May 13.

Source: Reuters

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