In his quest to sign the best players to Inter Miami, David Beckham took a scouting trip to Colombia, a country teeming with talent.
“I think that here [in Colombia] some of the best players in the world and the best football are produced, an exciting football, a football that I like to watch, the football that I want to have on my team in Miami, the one I like to see and to play,” Beckham told Futbol Red. “Colombian soccer will always be one of the best levels because it produces so much talent.”
Beckham admitted to Futbol Red that he is actively seeking to sign a Colombian superstar to his Major League Soccer squad, which debuts in 2020.
“Now that I have my team in Miami I hope to bring Colombian players, it would be fantastic,” Beckham said. “We have talked to some players, but you know how it is, I can’t name them.”
MLSsoccer.com listed five Colombian players they believe make a good fit for the budding South Florida franchise.
Juan Fernando Quintero
Falcao and Ospina are 33 and 30, respectively. With several years still left in the tank, either veteran would bring years of experience that could guide the young club in its inaugural season.
MLSsoccer.com listed Falcao as the most likely to join after bouncing around Europe for the last decade. The change of scenery could revitalize the 33-year-old, who is still producing at a high level. Beckham considers Falcao one of the greatest active talents and undoubtedly recognizes he’s “a tremendous goalscorer.”
As for Ospina, who will turn 31 in late August, MLSsoccer.com believes the allure of a starting position could pry away the Arsenal player.
The other three on the list would give Inter Miami anchoring youth they could build the franchise around.
The biggest catch would be the 27-year-old Rodriguez, who is currently playing for Bayern Munich on loan from Real Madrid.
“Obviously, [I watch] James playing at Real Madrid [like me] and later at Bayern,” Beckham said. “I watch him a lot because I think he is a player with a lot of talent.”
On MLS’s long-running podcast Extratime, David Gass said he would take Rodriguez over Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, who Beckham is aggressively pursuing.
“If I had a dream list, Suarez would not be at the top,” Gass said.
“Who are you gonna pick over Luis Suarez?” Bobby Warshaw followed up.
“First of all, James Rodriguez, because he is four years younger, because he’s more of a creative player,” Gass explained.
Gass added that Rodriguez’s marketability and ability to draw in Colombian fans would make him a perfect centerpiece for Inter Miami.
“He’s a Colombian international in Miami… you want that Colombian audience in Florida coming to your games excited to see James,” Gass said. “He’s 28 years old. If you want to say, ‘David Beckham in Miami is going to change Major League Soccer the way David Beckham in LA Galaxy changed Major League soccer,’ you go out and you sign one of the 20 best players in their prime.”
However, Rodriguez is a highly sought-after player, so Miami might be a longshot for the foreseeable future.
Quintero is just 26 years old, so Inter Miami would be getting a player entering his prime. The River Plate midfielder was set to sign with the Chicago Fire last season, but the deal failed to materialize. That said, it bodes well for Inter Miami to take a crack at him since there was MLS interest.
Cuesta, the final player on the list, is the youngest of the bunch at 20 years old. European clubs will be clamoring to scoop up the defender, so Inter Miami needs to work with urgency if they want to sign him at a reasonable price.
The list of potential signees continues to grow, but Inter Miami Sporting Director Paul McDonough assured the club’s plans are slowly coming together.
“We will have three Designated Players in our first year,” McDonough told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s an ongoing process, we’re talking with guys. We’ve had some meetings. Trying to figure out if we’re right for them and [if] they’re right for us. It’s all progressing well.”
Kevin Castaneda is the Managing Editor at FloridaInsider.com. His years of experience in journalism, broadcasting and multimedia include roles as a Writer and Web Producer at CBS Miami. He graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science and Communication.