October 3, 2023

Legendary Argentine forward Lionel Messi has made the significant decision to join America’s Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami following his exit from French side Paris Saint Germain (PSG).

35-year-old Messi rebuffed a more lucrative offer from Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal, and while a move to Barcelona was heavily mooted it would have been impossible because of Financial Fair Play (FFP) limitations

Inter Miami co-owned by football star David Beckham, Jorge Mas, and Jose Mas managed to pull a transfer coup that stunned the football world. The deal includes collaboration from brands like Adidas and Apple whose streaming service Apple TV+ is producing a documentary on Messi.

Speaking with newspapers Diario Sport and Mundo Deportivo, Messi revealed his decision to move to the MLS ignoring offers from European clubs, as he only had eyes for Barcelona in Europe.

”I’ve taken the decision that I am going to Miami,” Messi said.

“[I decided] to leave Europe.”

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He added: “It’s true that I had offers from another European team but I didn’t even think about it because, in Europe, my idea was only to go to Barcelona.

“After winning the World Cup and not being able to go to Barca, it’s time to go to MLS to live football in a different way and enjoy my day-to-day life more.

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“Obviously with the same responsibility and desire to win, and to do things well, but with more calm.”

The World Cup winner was hopeful of a return to Barcelona this season, but FFP limitations snuffed out any chance of a Messi return to the Camp Nou.

Messi said goodbye to Barcelona in a teary press conference in 2021 before announcing his move to PSG.

“I was afraid that it would happen again,” he said.

“I really wanted, I was very excited to be able to return, but after having experienced what I experienced and the exit I had, I did not want to be in the same situation again – waiting to see what was going to happen.

“I heard that they had to sell players or lower players’ salaries and the truth is that I didn’t want to go through that, nor take charge of obtaining something that had to do with all that.”

Barcelona later released a statement saying Messi had chosen a Miami move over an offer from the Catalan club.

“President [Joan] Laporta understood and respected Messi’s decision to want to compete in a league with fewer demands, further away from the spotlight and the pressure he has been subject to in recent years,” it added.

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