Top 10 Inter Miami Players of all time
Lionel Messi isn’t a one-man soccer team, even if it might seem that way. Ranking the 10 greatest players in Inter Miami CF history.
Messi to the Inter Miami team is now a reality, and other soccer legends are already joining him in the U.S. He certainly made a grand entrance on July 21 -- just check out the goal he scored in his debut.
Although Inter Miami CF was formed as recently as 2020, the team has already had some quality players on its roster despite its relative youth as an organization. In this Betway Insider entry, we’ll take a look at the all-time top 10 players in Inter Miami history.
Who just signed to Inter Miami?
Lionel Messi just signed with Inter Miami along with former Barcelona teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. Two other former Barcelona players, Andres Iniesta and Luis Suarez, are both rumored to be interested in joining Messi in Miami.
Messi made his debut, alongside Sergio Busquets, on July 21 in a 2-1 win over Mexico City’s Cruz Azul.
Who are the Inter Miami Designated Players in 2023?
Inter Miami’s Designated Players going forward this season are Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Josef Martinez. Jordi Alba will be classified under a different designation. MLS clubs are only permitted to have up to three DPs on their rosters at the same time or they can be fined, which is what happened to Inter Miami back in 2020.
Who are the all-time top scorers of Inter Miami?
The leading scorer in Inter Miami history is Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain, who scored 29 goals for the club.
Famous Inter Miami Players
The Barcelona boys -- Messi, Busquets, and Alba – are already the most famous players who have ever played for Inter Miami. However, in previous seasons, the club has also included big names in Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain and French midfielder Blaise Matuidi.
Perhaps Inter Miami’s most famous name of all is that of its owner, former England midfielder David Beckham.
Ranking the 10 Greatest Inter Miami Players of all time
- Lionel Messi
Years Active in MLS: 2023
Legendary Argentine World Cup winner and potential GOAT Leo Messi has played only one match for Inter Miami CF so far. However, his unveiling at DRV PNK Stadium on Sunday drew tens of millions of impressions on social media, and Messi has already made Inter Miami the most popular MLS team– not just with American fans, but with fans from all over the world.
That popularity alone won’t get Inter Miami out of the bottom of the MLS standings, where it is unfortunately positioned right now. This is literally one of the weakest teams in the league.
Messi will have a lot of work to do to lift his new team into playoff contention in what remains of this season. Inter Miami is 12 points out of the East’s ninth and final playoff seed with only 12 games left (although it has two games in hand against several higher-ranked teams), Messi and Co will realistically need at least 27 points to make the playoffs. Is that possible? Stay tuned.
Even if he weren’t already so famous -- and regardless of all he has already done in soccer -- getting this team into the MLS postseason would surely make Messi the first true Inter Miami legend.
- Josef Martinez
Years Active in MLS: 2017 to present
Other MLS Teams: Atlanta United
Venezuelan striker Josef Martinez holds his share of MLS records. He reached 100 career goals faster than anyone else in league history. He was also the fastest to record six career MLS hat tricks. At one point, Martinez held the regular-season MLS goals record after scoring 31 times in 2018.
Martinez joined Inter Miami prior to the 2023 season and is the team’s leading scorer this year with six goals. Management hopes that playing with Messi will enable the Venezuelan to return to top form.
- Blaise Matuidi
Years Active in MLS: 2020 to 2021
Blaise Matuidi’s European resume speaks for itself. He won four Ligue 1 titles, three Serie A titles, was named the 2015 French Player of the Year, and most importantly, was a starter for France when it won the World Cup.
A fringe starter with Juventus by 2020, the French midfielder jumped ship and came to Miami midway through the team’s inaugural season. Inter Miami’s overall play improved after Matuidi joined the team, and it even eked out the final berth in the expanded 2020 MLS playoffs, where Inter was promptly trounced by Nashville 3-0.
Matuidi played one more full season in MLS before retiring. Unfortunately, his arrival in 2020 put Miami over the league limit with four Designated Players. That led to an MLS record fine of $2 million.
- DeAndre Yedlin
Position: Right back
Years Active in MLS: 2013 to 2014, 2022 to present
Other MLS Teams: Seattle Sounders
After playing for the likes of Tottenham, Sunderland, Newcastle, and then Galatasaray in Turkey, DeAndre Yedlin decided to return home to the U.S. to join Inter Miami before the start of the 2022 season. He has been a fixture on the team ever since, having started 48 of his 51 games and collecting a total of four assists.
Yedlin is arguably the most well-known defender that Inter Miami has ever had.
- Drake Callender
Years Active: 2020 to present
Originally a college star at University of California, Berkeley, American goalkeeper Drake Callender’s rights were acquired by Inter Miami before the MLS expansion franchise had ever played a game. After playing in Inter’s system with Fort Lauderdale of the USL in 2021, Callender was called up to MLS for the 2022 season and has been the team’s starting keeper ever since.
Callender has six clean sheets in 46 appearances for Inter Miami to date. That number might exponentially increase now that former Barcelona stars Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have joined the club. On the other hand, Callender’s job could be at risk if the championship-focused Inter Miami squad opts to recruit a more prominent goalkeeper in the future.
- Victor Ulloa
Years Active in MLS: 2011 to present
Other MLS Teams: FC Dallas, FC Cincinnati
Mexican midfielder Victor Ulloa has spent his entire pro career in MLS. After 144 appearances for FC Dallas from 2011 to 2018, Ulloa joined another expansion team, FC Cincinnati, for one season before Inter Miami acquired him for $50,000 in General Allocation Money and a third-round pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.
While he has just 36 starts, Ulloa’s 70 appearances for Inter Miami are the most by any player in the club’s brief history.
- Rodolfo Pizarro
Years Active in MLS: 2020 to 2023
Mexican midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro has been in the news of late after transferring from Inter Miami to AEK Athens in Greece. The move freed up a valuable Designated Player spot for Miami as it brought in both Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets.
Upon hearing about the trade rumors, Pizarro said: “I have a contract. I didn't know I could be traded. Anyways, it's a bit strange. I think this (MLS) is this only league in the world that does this,”
Pizarro will join fellow Mexico national teammate Orbelin Pineda at AEK.
Pizarro had a complicated career during his years with Inter Miami. He joined the team for more than $10 million from Liga MX’s Monterrey prior to Inter’s inaugural 2020 campaign and lasted two full seasons in MLS before returning to Monterrey on loan. After only 13 appearances in a return to Miami for the current season, Pizarro’s MLS tenure appears to be over.
Now that he is no longer on the team, Pizarro becomes one of the four men on this list who can call himself a former Inter Miami player as opposed to the six others, who still play for the club.
- Leonardo Campana
Years Active in MLS: 2022 to present
Ecuadorian forward Leonardo Campana was a Barcelona (the Ecuadorian Barcelona) youth product before joining the Premier League’s Wolverhampton Wanderers. He came to Inter Miami in 2022 -- initially on a season-long loan -- and excelled. Campana scored 11 goals in his debut season, including a hat trick against the New England Revolution.
Inter Miami signed Campana to a full contract, giving him a “Young Designated Player” slot. This allowed the club to keep him at an artificially low salary-cap hit that didn’t prevent it from signing additional marquee foreign players.
Campana, who has four goals so far this season, is the most talented holdover from 2022 still on the Inter Miami roster in 2023.
- Lewis Morgan
Years Active in MLS: 2020 to 2021
Other MLS Teams: New York Red Bulls
Scottish winger Lewis Morgan once played in the Champions League with Celtic, but he jumped at the opportunity to join Inter Miami prior to the club’s inaugural season in 2020.
Morgan started all 57 Inter Miami games during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, scoring seven goals and assisting on 12 others. He was traded to the New York Red Bulls for $1.2 million in allocation money after the 2021 season and exploded with 14 goals in helping his new team reach the 2022 MLS playoffs. The Morgan deal is one transaction that David Beckham and the Inter Miami front office probably wish they could have back.
Although he has already left the club, a case could be made that Morgan was the best Inter Miami player of all time.
- Gonzalo Higuain
Years Active in MLS: 2020 to 2022
The all-time leading scorer in Inter Miami history is Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain. He came to MLS after enduring a rocky 2019-20 Serie A season in which he tried to partner with Cristiano Ronaldo as part of Juventus’ attack. The arrangement didn’t work out, so after agreeing with Juventus to mutually terminate his contract, Higuain joined Inter Miami.
The striker’s first MLS campaign did not go well. He scored just one goal in nine appearances, including a missed penalty kick in his debut. He went on to score 12 goals during the 2021 season, but unflattering video clips emerged that showed Higuain absolutely phoning it in defensively.
His third year in Miami was far better. After agreeing with coach Phil Neville to occasionally come off the bench, Higuain scored 16 MLS goals, including an average of 0.82 per 90 minutes (his highest per-game in any season since 2015-16).
Higuain will go down as the first famous Inter Miami player to achieve anything of note on the field. Will any of the new Inter Miami players in 2023 do the same?
Related: Who are the countrymen Messi is trying to catch in MLS? We ranked the 10 greatest Argentinian players in MLS history.
Parameters of Rankings
These rankings are based on a combination of each player’s Inter Miami legacy, each player’s achievements with the club, and each player’s off-the-field impact.
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