The 19-year-old winger has been thrust into the spotlight since joining the new MLS club, but it Is a Chance He’s been waiting. It was on this day he created the moment that defined him. As his free-kick sailed beyond Antonis Nikopolidis and to the back of the net, Beckham was the guy that delivered England to the 2002 World Cup while becoming an international feeling far in the British isles. It was a moment of fate that changed everything that came after it.
There’s very little opportunity Matias Pellegrini has some memory of the day. He was born only a year-and-a-half before in Magdalena, Argentina, far in the European beaches where Beckham was king. In fact, Pellegrini only would have observed Beckham play at the midfielder’s waning years since he began the transition from international star to businessman.
And now, both are together in Miami. Beckham is the proprietor and the figurehead of an Inter Miami team which, in his eyes, will break obstacles. And Pellegrini stands as the club first-ever signing, the participant tasked with growing into a celebrity in his own right.
It is a good deal to ask of a 19-year-old and there is a certain pressure that accompanies the role he now occupies. Not many in world soccer can say they were a club first-ever signing and not one of the ones that are able to predict Beckham their boss.
Because of this, there is a definite weight placed on Pellegrini’s shoulders. Many expected a worldwide star like Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani or James Rodriguez to be Miami’s first important signing.
But that stress, that burden, is what makes this group unique and that uniqueness is what convinced Pellegrini it was a chance he could not pass up.
“It is something that does not happen a great deal,” Pellegrini told Target. “This will not happen to a lot of players. I am enjoying it. I’m a really young player, but right now I am adapting to this club works and I wish to ensure I am doing my best to make sure I am in the level that the club is at. I am just very happy, very excited. I am lucky to be part of this terrific job and this ambitious club.”
“It’s been a beautiful experience for me. This is extremely new. I was not used to doing anything like this in Argentina, and I am very excited to be a part of it.”
By 2018, he had been involved with the first group, where the winger proceeded to score three goals in 15 league games while turning heads in the procedure.
Inter Miami’s interest came shortly after, and the growth club got the deal done in a movement that saw the adolescent loaned back to Estudiantes before January. He was confirmed as Inter Miami’s first player registering July 26 and joined by countryman Julian Carranza after that day. With the move to signal two young Argentinian up-and-comers, Miami delivered a message that the group could be constructed around far more than recognizable stars.
Since then, life was somewhat different for Pellegrini. He’s since had to move to Miami in what has shown a gigantic change of pace. His family has joined him to get his first few months in his new town and Pellegrini is working on studying English as he acclimates to life in MLS and the U.S. as a whole.
MLS has been a home for gifted Argentinians, and Pellegrini is the latest celebrity to make the jump from South America.
Because of this, Pellegrini had former Estudiantes teammates to turn to in search of information.
Rodriguez played alongside the likes of Wayne Rooney in Audi Field while Gonzalez Pirez known as Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez teammates before going into Club Tijuana this winter. Both experienced unique situations presented by MLS, and told Pellegrini it was a move he had to make.
“It is a league that is growing a lot with a great deal of talented players. For me, it was always a wish to come here. It’s a terrific step in my career. I really like the club’s aspirations and the club’s goals.
Since signing, Pellegrini has been contrasted with Gonzalez Pirez’s former teammate Almiron. However, Pellegrini is three years younger than when Almiron transferred to MLS from Argentinian side Lanus. He’ s also not as experienced, but Inter Miami could not wait any longer.
The club’s ambitions are apparent for all to see. Since the day Beckham declared his intentions of coming to Miami, the thought was to become something bigger than anything we have seen in MLS. With Beckham’s celebrity power, investment from wealthy co-owners and Miami’s reputation, the possibility is unmatched.
But, up to now, the team has signed only one Designated Player: Pellegrini. The huge star has not landed.
Pellegrini is comfortable with all the pressure that comes with being the club’s biggest signing up to now as the club prepares for a big splash in the weeks to come, while the young Argentine is also comfortable with the new manager tasked with directing his advancement by signing to star.
“I understand that Diego Alonso has done great things in his career, notably in Mexico,” he said. “Also, for me personally, it is a plus that he is an Uruguayan, thus we have a very similar culture. We talk the same language so I am really excited about working with him.”
He added: “I must keep on doing things how I was doing them in Argentina. Since I have been a young player, I have worked hard and I will continue to do so here in Miami. I need to add to the club and be sure I can help the club achieve its goals and make history.”
That pursuit begins from Miami in March as the club begins with games at Los Angeles FC and in D.C. United. On March 14, the team has its big moment as MLS returns to Miami for the first time since the passing of the Miami Fusion in 2001.
The club’s first game, fittingly, comes from Beckham’s former team, the LA Galaxy. It is a club that is everything Inter Miami expects to be. The Galaxy attract stars, create headlines and, most of all, win. There is a statue of Beckham out of the club’s stadium and it’s the English star that’s credited for taking the club from American power to internationally-recognized.
Expansion seasons are generally difficult and a lot is going to be demanded of the 19-year-old winger regardless of what names are related to the club in the coming weeks. He might not be the major name many anticipated and he might not be a star at the peak of his powers just yet, but it appears he is more than willing to be the engineer of his own increase.
“When Inter Miami achieved and I found out that he was one of the owners, I was very, very excited to be a part of his undertaking.
“It has been an unbelievable experience. Everything, all this is new for me. I am enjoying it. I am using it. I’m sure this is going to be an experience that I will never forget in my entire life. I am very, very, very pleased to be here.”