Argentina football legend Lionel Messi has announced his decision to join American side Inter Miami following his departure from Paris St-Germain (PSG). The 35-year-old had received a more lucrative offer from Saudi Arabian team Al-Hilal, but due to Financial Fair Play (FFP) limitations, a return to his beloved Barcelona was not possible.
In an interview with Diario Sport and Mundo Deportivo, Messi stated, “I’ve taken the decision that I am going to Miami, [to leave Europe].” He revealed that although he received offers from European clubs, his heart was set on Barcelona. However, after winning the World Cup with Argentina and being unable to rejoin his former club, he expressed a desire to experience football in a different way and enjoy a more relaxed day-to-day life.
Barcelona’s FFP constraints prevented Messi’s homecoming this summer, leading him to explore other options. The Spanish club had already been unable to retain the talismanic forward in 2021, resulting in an emotional farewell news conference and his subsequent move to PSG.
“I was afraid that it would happen again,” Messi admitted. “I really wanted, I was very excited to be able to return [to Barcelona], but after having experienced what I experienced and the exit I had, I did not want to be in the same situation again.”
The opportunity to play for Inter Miami in Major League Soccer (MLS) appealed to Messi, who will now embark on his first playing experience outside of Europe. Although a move to Saudi Arabia seemed likely, the allure of the MLS, a new lifestyle, and a brand collaboration involving companies such as Adidas and Apple ultimately swayed his decision.
During his time with PSG, Messi helped the club win Ligue 1 titles in both seasons but fell short in the Champions League, exiting in the round of 16. While his stint in France may not have been deemed a resounding success, he still managed to contribute significantly, scoring 32 goals and providing 16 assists in 75 appearances, concluding the season with impressive numbers.
Messi’s two-year contract with PSG will come to an end this summer, allowing him to embark on this exciting new chapter with Inter Miami. His departure from Barcelona, after an illustrious 21-year association with the club, was primarily due to their financial struggles. As Barcelona’s record goalscorer with 672 goals, Messi has an unparalleled legacy at the club, amassing 10 La Liga titles, four Champions League trophies, and seven Spanish Cups.
As the football world eagerly awaits the official confirmation of his move to Inter Miami, Lionel Messi’s decision marks a significant milestone in his career. Fans worldwide will be eager to witness the Argentine maestro’s magic in the MLS, where he aims to continue his winning ways with the same passion and dedication that have defined his illustrious career.