Messi announces Inter Miami move
The Argentine player Lionel Messi announces he will sign for Major League Soccer Club Inter Miami.
Lionel Messi confirmed that he would sign with Major League Soccer team Inter Miami, during interviews with Spanish media on Wednesday, rather than return to Barcelona or sign a record-breaking contract to play in Saudi Arabia.
The 35-year-old Argentine forward, who spent the majority of his career at Barcelona, spent the last two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain before leaving the club on Saturday.
Given Barcelona's financial situation, Messi said he did not want to wait for them to figure out a way to sign him. Barcelona was unable to keep Messi prior to his transfer to PSG, which resulted in a tearful departure. "I was afraid that it would happen again," Messi told Spanish newspapers Diario Sport and Mundo Deportivo.
"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," adding that "(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."
He said that "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."
Messi has won the Ballon d'Or seven times and is predicted to do so again after leading Argentina to a World Cup victory in Qatar in December 2022.
The football world was eagerly awaiting Messi's decision after PSG confirmed this week the playmaker, widely considered the best player in the history of football, was departing.
With the team at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, Inter Miami, co-owned by former England international David Beckham, fired coach Phil Neville last week. Argentine Javier Morales took over on an interim basis.
The romance of a Barcelona return and the prospect of eye-watering riches in Saudi Arabia fell by the wayside as Messi opted to join MLS, with sun-soaked Miami a city he has holidayed in on previous occasions. Moreover, some reports say key MLS sponsors including sportswear brand Adidas and Apple TV, who own the league's domestic broadcasting rights, may be contributing to his deal.