David Beckham's move to Major League Soccer in 2007 was a watershed moment for the league.
Part of the deal to get Beckham to come to America to play professional soccer was an opportunity to invest in an MLS expansion team when his playing career was completed. In 2014, Beckham exercised that option and Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (Inter Miami CF for short) was born.
With the clock ticking toward Inter Miami CF's inaugural season in 2020, Beckham is on the lookout for possible players for his new team and he's already trying to recruit Neymar, the 26-year-old Brazilian star who currently plays for French club Paris Saint-Germain.
The conversation with Neymar is light-hearted, but the idea isn't totally out of the realm of possibility for Beckham. Having played for some of the most prestigious clubs in the world, Beckham is well-connected. It was an outrageous move by MLS and the Los Angeles Galaxy to bring Beckham to the U.S. to play. A decade later, the idea of bringing Neymar over to play for Inter Miami CF no longer seems preposterous.
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Under a rule nicknamed "The Beckham Rule," MLS clubs have brought over World Cup winners such as Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Kaka (Orlando City SC), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire), and David Villa and Andrea Pirlo (New York City FC). This season, Beckham's former teammate with the England national team — Wayne Rooney (D.C. United) — also began playing in the league thanks to "The Beckham Rule."
So, consider Neymar the first major soccer star to be "linked" to Inter Miami CF.
Follow USA TODAY Sports' Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.
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