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Inter Miami Hoy

French midfielder Matiudi signs with MLS, Inter Miami

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (August 13, 2020) Inter Miami announced on Thursday that it has signed 33-year-old former Juventus and France international midfielder Blaise Matuidi on a free transfer, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 visa.

Matiudi is a veteran who was on the France side that won the 2018 World Cup. He has played at the highest level of the game, a quality which fans were promised by the ownership group prior to launching the team. He brings a winning pedigree which includes a total of 21 trophies at club level with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus. The midfielder was also named the 2015 French Player of the Year and selected to the Ligue 1 Team of the Year twice.

Matuidi was signed with the help of Targeted Allocation Money, meaning he will not count as one of the Fort Lauderdale side’s three Designated Players. According to my sources, Matuidi has agreed to a pay cut to secure the move to MLS and fit into Inter Miami’s salary budget. He will occupy an international roster slot. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Matuidi will be subject to a 10-day quarantine period before he can suit up for Miami.

Matuidi is a former teammate of Miami co-owner and president of soccer operations David Beckham from their days with PSG, and that connection played a role in the Frenchman heading to Miami.

What he will bring to the squad

Matiudi will be a key in a midfield that was in need of an upgrade. The central midfield position has been weak, just as pressing as the need for a striker.

“Blaise is one of the most successful midfielders of his generation and we’re thrilled to have him at Inter Miami,” said Inter Miami COO and sporting director Paul McDonough.” His world-class quality and leadership will be key attributes for the club.”

The left-footed veteran plays an uptempo game and is a physical player. He possesses two-way capabilities, being a driver on the attack but also positioning himself to break up the opponent’s attack using his strength and range. His presence on the pitch will benefit Inter Miami, most notably by freeing up other teammates, particularly fellow midfielder Wil Trapp, to play more to their strengths.

“I couldn’t be happier to welcome my friend Blaise to Inter Miami. He is an exciting and gifted player and a great person,” said Beckham. “To have a World Cup winner of Blaise’s quality in our new team is such a proud moment — for us as owners and for our fans. For me personally, to have a former teammate joining our club is very special and I can’t wait to welcome him and his beautiful family to Miami.”

Matuidi, born in 1987 in Toulouse, began his professional career in 2004 with ES Troyes AC (currently in France’s Ligue 2) before moving to Saint-Etienne, where he was a teammate of former U.S. international and current Atlanta United executive Carlos Bocanegra. All told, he has made more than 650 league and cup appearances at club level, scoring 48 goals.

At the international level, Matuidi has represented Les Bleues from the youth teams through the full national team, making his senior debut for France in 2010. Since then, he has made 84 appearances, registering nine goals and 10 assists across all competitions.

Matiudi’s agent is Mino Raiola, who also represents top players including midfielder Paul Pogba (Man. U.), forward Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), centre-back Mathijs de Ligt (Juventus), midfielder Marco Verratti (Paris-Saint-Germain) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (A.C. Milan). This is Raiola’s second current player in MLS, after Seattle’s João Paulo.

By Ken Russo

My work in the business of soccer applies skills acquired in law practice with a focus on the sport's commercial, communications and sporting components. Russo Soccer aims to inform, educate and engage in dialogue on news and relevant issues in the game.

Um advogado por formação, concentro meu trabalho nos negócios, comunicações e operações de equipes no futebol mundial. | Abogado con fundación avanzada en comunicaciones, enfocado en los negocios del fútbol y las comunicaciones. | Je suis un avocat experimenté dans les affaires de football.

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