After leaving French winners Paris St-Germain, Argentina legend Lionel Messi will sign with Inter Miami in the United States.
Messi, 35, received a more lucrative offer from Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia, and his return to Barcelona was rendered impossible due to Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions.
Messi told the tabloids Mundo Deportivo and Diario Sport, “I’ve made the decision that I’m going to Miami.”
“It’s true that I received offers from other European teams, but I didn’t even consider them because in Europe, my only option was to sign with Barcelona,” he continued.
“Now that I’ve won the World Cup but can’t go to Barcelona, it’s time to move to Major League Soccer so I can experience football in a new way and enjoy my daily life more.
“Obviously, with greater calm, and with the same responsibility and desire to succeed and do things well.”
The ex-Barcelona forward was eager to rejoin the Catalan club this summer, but any ambitious plan to do so was rendered impossible by the FFP restrictions that will be in place for the La Liga season after this one.
Messi departed the Nou Camp and signed for PSG during an emotional press conference in 2021 after the Spanish club was unable to keep him.
He replied, “I was worried it would happen again.
I was eager to go back to Barcelona and really wanted to, but I didn’t want to be in the same scenario again waiting to see what would happen after what I had gone through and the exit I had.
The reality is that I didn’t want to go through that or take control of getting something that had to do with all that. I had heard that they had to sell players or cut players’ pay.
Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award seven times, and after the World Cup, he is predicted to win it again this year.
Messi, a legendary player for Barcelona, is playing his first game outside of Europe.
He had to choose between Inter Miami and Al-Hilal after his return to Barcelona fell through.
He was widely believed to favor moving to Saudi Arabia, where he would have joined Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo in the league in a deal that was unaffordable.
Messi was finally drawn to Inter Miami of Major League Soccer (MLS) for a number of reasons, including the team’s culture and a contract with major brands that go beyond sports.
He already has a Miami home that he rents out.
His stint in France was not regarded as a major success because Paris St-Germain lost in the round of 16 of the Champions League despite winning Ligue 1 both of his seasons at the club.
He scored 32 goals in 75 appearances for the team and finished the Ligue 1 campaign with 16 goals and 16 assists.
Both parties agreed to split ways as Messi’s two-year deal expires this summer. The striker was suspended for two weeks in May due to an unauthorized travel to Saudi Arabia.
His time at Barcelona and the World Cup victory with Argentina in December will live on in his legacy.
After 21 years with the club, he left Barca in 2021 due to the organization’s financial difficulties.
With 672 goals and 10 La Liga championships, four Champions Leagues, and seven Spanish Cups, Messi holds the record for most goals scored for Barcelona.