Lionel Messi revealed that he will be joining Inter Miami upon the expiry of his PSG contract. He called those two years difficult and is preparing for the next phase, possibly the final phase, of his playing career. Spanish journalist Guillem Balague said the Miami draw exceeded the monetary offer of Saudi clubs. Barcelona, on the other hand, faced an uphill climb given its precarious financial position.
In an exclusive interview with Mundo Deportivo And Sport, Messi spoke about his future. With rumors of a Barcelona return, that was a potential venue. However, it never came to fruition for things beyond his control.
Barcelona out of the picture
“The truth is, yes, of course I really wanted to, very excited to return,” Messi told Mundo Deportivo, which has since been translated from Spanish. “But on the other hand, after going through what I went through and the exit I had, I didn’t want to be in the same situation again. Waiting to see what was going to happen and leaving my future in someone else’s hands.”
Messi was referring to the drama that followed his departure from the club in 2021. He seemed able to rejoin the club with a reduced salary and a new contract. However, Barcelona failed to register the player as it had signed others. Messi then wanted to stay, but that was not possible. This time, Messi put himself and his family first. Even if Barcelona could hypothetically register Messi successfully, he wanted to control his future.
“It was a very ugly stage. We arrived with the illusion of starting over with training every year and the kids with their schools and their routines. When everything was ready to sign, overnight, it was not possible and they told me that it is not possible and that I have to leave the club. I had to start running and find a team, make a hasty decision and go through everything we went through that was hard.
Messi had seen this story before. He knew that the club could not fully guarantee his arrival, just like in 2021.
“The club was unable to confirm 100% today that I could return. And it’s understandable, because of the situation the club is going through, and that’s how I’ve lived it.”
Messi lands at Inter Miami for next club
Ironically, Messi would go on to say that things are not fully guaranteed at Inter Miami either. Anyway, that’s where he sees the future of his career going.
“I have made the decision that I am going to Miami. I still haven’t closed it one hundred percent. I miss a few things, but we have decided to continue on the same path.”
In the interview with Mundo Deportivo, Messi did not talk much about his desire to play for Inter Miami. He also did not talk about possible offers from the Saudi Pro League. The latter was rumored to be in excess of $1 billion for a two-year contract. However, Messi did say he wants to leave the spotlight of Europe.
“If it had been a question of money, I would have gone to Arabia or elsewhere. It seemed like a lot of money to me, and the truth is that my decision was for the other side and not for money.
During the interview, Messi spoke about the leaks and criticism he received in the past two years. To many, he couldn’t outwardly defend them as they were just rumors doing the rounds in the media.
“I had offers from other European teams, but I didn’t even evaluate them because it was my idea to go to Barcelona. If the Barcelona thing didn’t work out, leaving European football and much more after winning the World Cup, that was what I needed. Finishing my career on this side by playing in the American league allowed me to enjoy everyday life much more, but with the same responsibility of wanting to win and always doing things right, but with more peace of mind.
Inter Miami almost confirms the arrival of Messi
The video Inter Miami showed was just the first glimpse of Messi’s confirmation in Major League Soccer. Inter Miami managing director-owner Jorge Mas tweeted a faded image of Messi wearing an Inter Miami shirt. The public can only see the last two letters of Messi’s name, ‘sí’, which translates to ‘yes’, meaning the deal is pretty much done. Mas was one of the key figures in organizing Messi’s arrival in MLS.
Even though the deal hasn’t been formalized, MLS is embracing its desire to come to the United States to compete.
The New York Times took a closer look at Messi’s deal with Inter Miami. In addition to a roster spot free of MLS salary restrictions, Messi will enter into a revenue-sharing agreement with both Apple and Adidas. In addition, he will have an ownership interest in Inter Miami once his playing career ends.
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