Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham has refused to rule out making a move for Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo but acknowledged both are still playing at a level well above that of MLS.
Beckham spoke to reporters about the search for players for his new club, which will debut in MLS in 2020. Per Reuters (for ESPN FC) he touched on the two stars and the possibility of landing them at this time:
"Everyone has their wish list -- everyone does! But if you look at the way Leo and Cristiano are still playing, even at what you might think is the later stage of their careers, I don't see it ending for them.
"They're playing at such a high level that it's hard to see them leaving the clubs they are at. But we will see. You never know what can happen in football."
Ronaldo and Messi are 34 and 31, respectively, but are still widely considered among the best players in the world.
They reminded everyone of their remarkable talents in midweek, playing key roles for Juventus and Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League:
Beckham became MLS' biggest overseas star when he joined L.A. Galaxy in 2007, handing the league a massive profile boost. Top stars from Europe have since found success in North America, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney making the switch last year.
The latter has started the new season in sensational form for D.C. United:
First MLS hat-trick. New season, same Rooney 🙌 pic.twitter.com/F4zDGE6UQD— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 17, 2019
Beckham is expected to try to add stars of at least similar caliber, knowing full well expansion teams can find success in MLS almost instantly. Atlanta United made their debut in 2017 and won the title a year later.
There's plenty of work to do before Inter Miami take to the pitch, however. The team doesn't even have a ground to play in, as sports writer Graham Ruthven noted:
I’ll admit I kinda lost track of the Miami stadium search story, but why can’t Inter Miami just use Hard Rock Stadium for a couple seasons? Genuine Q.— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) March 15, 2019
Beckham also discussed his old club Manchester United and their success under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He wants his old team-mate to get the job on a permanent basis:
"He's just brought the players together -- and the players have responded in the right way, the way the fans had hoped. It's just nice to see Ole do so well. It's not down to me to decide. But look at the fans. They've loved all the time he has been the manager so far. They want that to continue.
"Ole has just come in. He gains that respect from the players because he had done it. He'd been there on the biggest stage and won, he's been successful."
Solskjaer and Beckham were team-mates during the glory days under Sir Alex Ferguson.