Inter Miami CF announced Thursday that it had signed French midfielder Blaise Matuidi, last of Juventus. This marks the first significant signing of a high-profile player from Europe for the club.
Perhaps most notably, Inter Miami was able to acquire Matuidi with Targeted Allocation Money. This means that the club retains its third Designated Player spot (the first two used on Rodolfo Pizarro and Matias Pellegrini). The club could go into the market again and sign another high-profile player.
Inter Miami reaction
Matuidi fits into an open slot for Inter Miami, which has struggled offensively since debuting in August. Known as a ball-winner and an effective holding player, Matuidi also is more than capable of making attacking runs and setting up play for others. He is also known for versatility, shifting forward during his time with PSG and eventually shifting wide during France’s run to the 2018 FIFA World Cup title. Matuidi was a key contributor for Les Bleus, earning a winner’s medal and the Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur from French president Emmanuel Macron.
“I’m very happy that he’s joining us. He’s undoubtedly a player of a very high caliber. We were monitoring him for a while and luckily we were able to close the deal,” Diego Alonso said in a club statement. “He’s a versatile player who can play in several positions, be it centrally or out wide in midfield, and he’s even played as a full-back for Juventus. That speaks to his ability.”
“Blaise is one of the most successful midfielders of his generation and we’re thrilled to have him at Inter Miami,” club COO and Sporting Director Paul McDonough, said in a statement. “His world-class quality and leadership will be key attributes for the Club.”
The club shared a video from Matuidi on its website earlier today.
Matuidi, 33, brings with him to Miami an impressive club résumé as well. A product of Clairefontaine, one of France’s elite training centers for youth players, Matuidi broke into first-team soccer with Troyes AC in 2004. Three years later, he would transfer to AS Saint-Étienne for four seasons.
Hitting the big time
His major breakthrough into stardom came in 2011 when he was signed by Paris Saint-Germain. Signed to replace the retired Claude Makélélé, who Matuidi considered his major influence on the field, Matuidi would go on to make 203 appearances and score 23 goals for the Parisians. With PSG, he would win four Ligue 1 titles and three Coupes de France, among other honors. Matuidi was named as part of the Ligue 1 Team of the Year in 2012–13 and 2015–16, as well as earning the title of French Player of the Year in 2015.
In 2017, Matuidi joined Juventus after a €20 million transfer fee was paid. In three seasons, he made 98 appearances and scored six goals. During his three seasons, Matuidi won three Scudettos and a Coppa Italia. He terminated his contract with the Italian giants earlier this month, paving the was for his move to South Florida.
It is a bit of a return to South Florida for Blaise Matuidi, who played for PSG when it squared off with Juventus in the International Champions Cup in July 2017. He would switch sides and be off from Paris to Turin within a month.