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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Lionel Messi is set to join Inter Miami, the last-placed team in MLS, following his departure from PSG

Lionel Messi Chooses Inter Miami as His Next Destination after PSG Argentine forward Lionel Messi, 35, has decided to sign with Inter Miami, a Major League Soccer (MLS) team, as his next career move. This is a surprise, as many expected a reunion with Barcelona or a lucrative deal to play in Saudi Arabia. Messi spent the last two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) after leaving Barcelona, where he had spent most of his illustrious career. The news was confirmed by MLS and Inter Miami on social media, although there are still some details to be finalized before the agreement is official.

In an interview with Spanish newspapers Diario Sport and Mundo Deportivo, Messi stated, “I’ve taken the decision that I am going to Miami, I don’t have the deal 100 percent sealed, or maybe there’s something left to do, but we decided to continue our path there.” He expressed his desire to leave Europe after winning the World Cup and not being able to return to Barcelona. Messi sees MLS as an opportunity to experience football differently and enjoy a more relaxed daily life while maintaining his competitive spirit and ambition to win.

Messi, a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of football. He is expected to earn the prestigious individual accolade again after leading Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar in December 2022. The football world eagerly awaited Messi’s decision after PSG confirmed his departure. Despite the allure of a Barcelona return and the potential for significant financial gain in Saudi Arabia, Messi chose MLS, specifically the sunny city of Miami. In this place, he has previously enjoyed vacations.

Messi reflected on his decision: “If it had been a question of money, I would have gone to Saudi Arabia or elsewhere. It seemed like a lot of money, but my decision took another direction, not driven by financial considerations.” Inter Miami, co-owned by former England international David Beckham and established in 2018, recently parted ways with coach Phil Neville as the team languishes at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Reports suggest that key MLS sponsors, including sportswear brand Adidas and Apple TV, who own the league’s domestic broadcasting rights, may contribute to Messi’s deal.

As Messi approaches his 36th birthday in June, he is poised to conclude his club career outside the spotlight of top-tier European football. His move to Inter Miami marks a new chapter in his illustrious journey, where he hopes to make a significant impact in the MLS.

‘Wanted to come back

Messi Expresses Desire to Return to Barcelona, but Fears Financial Complications Lionel Messi revealed his strong desire to return to Barcelona; however, he expressed apprehension about potential financial complications similar to those that prevented his contract extension in 2021.

“I wanted to come back; I was looking forward to it,” Messi emphasized.

“However, after experiencing what I went through, after the departure and the challenges I faced… I didn’t want to go through the same situation again and be uncertain about the outcome.”

“I didn’t want to leave my future in the hands of others. I wanted to take control of my decisions for myself and my family.”

Even though there were indications that the league had approved his return and that everything seemed favorable, there were still unresolved issues.

“I heard about the need to sell players or reduce the salaries of others, and honestly, I didn’t want to be a part of that process or bear any responsibility for it,” Messi explained.

Despite the circumstances, Messi expressed his intention to live in Barcelona again and maintain a connection with his beloved former club.

“I’m not sure when or how, but hopefully, someday, I can return and contribute to the club in some capacity,” he added.

Before that, Messi’s arrival in the United States will undoubtedly significantly boost the growth of soccer in the country. This development comes just three years ahead of the 2026 World Cup, which the United States, Canada, and Mexico will co-host.

“We eagerly anticipate the arrival of one of the greatest soccer players of all time in our league,” Major League Soccer stated in response to Messi’s decision.

Glittering history

Messi’s Journey from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain At the tender age of 13, Lionel Messi left his homeland. He joined Barcelona’s academy, embarking on a remarkable journey that would make him the club’s greatest icon. His tenure at the Catalan club was legendary, as he etched his name in history by scoring a record-breaking 672 goals in 778 games and securing an impressive collection of 35 trophies, including four Champions League titles and 10 La Liga championships.

However, Messi’s unexpected departure from Barcelona led him to join Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), where he reunited with his former teammate Neymar and formed a star-studded attacking trio alongside Kylian Mbappe. Despite the promise of their formidable partnership, PSG’s performances during Messi’s time at the club failed to live up to expectations. While they managed to win Ligue 1 twice, their Champions League campaigns ended in disappointment with two painful eliminations in the round of 16, resulting in frustration from supporters who directed their anger towards Messi.

Already facing criticism, Messi faced further scrutiny when he made an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia, where he serves as a tourism ambassador. As a consequence, he incurred fines and a suspension from PSG. After serving his suspension, Messi returned to the pitch for PSG in his 75th and final match, which ended in a defeat against Clermont. Unfortunately, he was once again subjected to jeers from the crowd and could not add to his tally of 32 goals for the club.

Reflecting on his time at PSG, Messi acknowledged his difficulties during the past two years but expressed his determination to move forward. “They were two years that, overall, were challenging for me, but they are now behind me,” Messi stated.

As Messi prepares to embark on his new chapter with Inter Miami in the MLS, fans worldwide eagerly await his future endeavors, hoping to witness more of his magical football and iconic moments on the field.

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