Luis Suarez Lionel Messi
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi formed a strong bond when they were teammates at FC Barcelona. AFP / PAU BARRENA PAU BARRENA/AFP News

It looks like Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami CF is quickly turning into an FC Barcelona veterans team. Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has officially signed for the club, which reunites him with close friend Lionel Messi.

Suarez will join Inter Miami for the 2024 season, where apart from the Argentine, he will also be playing alongside former Barcelona players like Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. Suarez, now 36 years old, made the move as a free agent after terminating his contract early with Brazilian club Gremio.

Suarez is the latest big signing for Inter Miami, which has seen a massive transformation since the arrival of Messi and his former Barcelona posse this summer. Within weeks of their arrival, they managed to help the club lift the first trophy in their history by winning the Leagues Cup in August.

"I'm very happy and excited to take on this new challenge with Inter Miami," said Suarez, as he faced the press following the confirmation of his signing.

"I can't wait to get started and I'm ready to work to make the dream of winning more titles with this great club a reality," he added.

Likewise, Suarez confirmed that he is looking forward to "reuniting with great friends and players". He said that he feels "optimistic" about what he and his old friends can achieve together thanks to their "shared ambition".

Suarez has an enviable resume that attracted Inter Miami

It has long been rumoured that Messi had been asking his new team to sign Suarez, who is one of his closest friends. However, the World Cup-winning captain may not have needed to twist any arms over at Fort Lauderdale. After all, Suarez has a list of achievements that speaks for itself.

While playing for FC Barcelona between 2015 and 2019, he won four La Liga titles. Incidentally, Messi, Busquets and Alba were also part of that highly successful team. They also lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2015.

Outside of FC Barcelona, Suarez also won domestic titles with Nacional (Uruguay), Ajax (Netherlands) and Atletico Madrid (Spain). Last season, he helped Gremio finish second in the Brazilian Serie A by scoring 17 goals in 33 matches. He was also named the best player of the league.

All the puzzle pieces are falling into place

After fulfilling only half of his two-year deal with Gremio, Suarez decided to terminate his contract early citing concerns about the gruelling schedule of the Brazilian league, which would require him to travel large distances frequently.

While the MLS is also hectic, it is largely seen as a more "relaxed" competition. Messi said so himself when he decided to join Inter Miami last summer instead of accepting a lucrative offer from the Saudi Pro League.

At the time, the Argentine admitted that he wanted to enjoy more time with his family and have a more relaxing environment while also still playing competitive football. Heading to the Saudi Pro League would have pitted him back against his greatest rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, who now plays for Al-Nassr.

This was not the kind of pressure cooker environment that still appealed to him, especially after a miserable two years with Paris Saint-Germain where the gargantuan expectations weighed heavily on him.

Now, with Suarez heading to Miami, it will certainly be a reunion of old friends. There is no doubt that they will all be enjoying themselves out on the pitch, and the American audience will relish the opportunity to witness such legendary talents.

Inter Miami finished second from bottom in the MLS Eastern Conference last season, but they improved massively in the second half of the campaign. In 2024, the club will look quite different from the way it did just 12 months ago, and it remains to be seen exactly what the old friends can achieve.