After months of speculation, Lionel Messi’s future has finally been revealed, as he leaves European football for Inter Miami.
The World Cup winner decided to leave current club PSG this summer after just two seasons in Paris, where he scored 22 goals and provided 30 assists in 78 Ligue 1 appearances for the Parisians. The Argentinian reportedly had offers from a host of clubs, including a return to Barcelona, but has chosen as new challenge as he heads for MLS.
“I decided to leave Europe. 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. Obviously with the same responsibility and desire to win, and to do things well, but with more calm.”
Messi was keen for a return to the Catalan giants, where he scored 672 goals, won 10 LaLiga titles, seven Copa del Rey’s and four Champions Leagues’, but with FFP restrictions he couldn’t take the risk, saying:
“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 – 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.”
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Barcelona have since released a statement confirming the Argentinian’s move to Miami, despite them offering a proposal for him to return to Camp Nou.
“On Monday, June 5, Jorge Messi, the player’s father and representative, informed Club President Joan Laporta of the player’s decision to join Inter Miami, despite having been presented with a proposal from Barça, in consideration of the desire of both FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi for him to once again wear blaugrana.
“President 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. Both Joan Laporta and Jorge Messi also agreed to work together to promote a proper tribute from Barça fans to honour a footballer who has been, is, and always will be beloved by Barça.”
According to The Athletic, Messi will sign a two and a half year deal in Miami, with an option to extend for a further year and it will include:
- A chance to purchase a stake in an MLS team upon the conclusion of his deal
- A cut of any increase in Adidas’ profits resulting from from his involvement in MLS
- A cut of any revenue generated by new subscribers to the MLS Season Pass at AppleTV+
And if it all goes to plan, MLS will soon stand for Messi League Soccer as he looks to take the league by storm.