Lionel Messi has officially announced his transfer to Inter Miami CF, which reportedly includes the possibility of becoming a co-owner of the MLS franchise. Speculation regarding the 35-year-old’s future has been rife in recent weeks, with rumors linking him to moves to Saudi Arabia and a return to Barcelona.
Despite being offered a staggering £2 billion deal to join Saudi Pro League team Al-Hilal, Lionel Messi has ultimately decided to join Inter Miami, while the Argentine football icon also dismissed any chances of returning to his former club Barcelona due to their financial troubles.
In an interview with Mundo Deportivo, Lionel Messi stated, “I’m going to Inter Miami.” Having achieved tremendous success with Barcelona, including four Champions League titles and 672 goals in 778 games, Messi is set to receive a lucrative contract from the MLS club, potentially involving endorsement deals with Adidas.
Reports suggest that the agreement between Lionel Messi and Inter Miami includes the option of becoming a part-owner of the team, as well as a share of the subscriber revenues from Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass. Although his father, Jorge, met with Barcelona president Joan Laporta, Messi ultimately chose not to return to his former club.
Regarding the Barcelona rumors, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner expressed his sentiments, saying, “I really wanted [to return to Barcelona], 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 and leaving my future in hand from another.
“I wanted to make my own decision, thinking about myself, about my family. Although I heard that it was said that LaLiga had accepted everything and that everything was fine for him to return, there were still many other things that had to be done. I heard that they [Barcelona] 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 Responds to News of Lionel Messi to Inter Miami
Barcelona responded to the news with a statement from President Laporta, who wished Lionel Messi well in his new venture. The statement acknowledged that Messi’s decision to join Inter Miami was made despite Barcelona’s proposal and reflected the desires of both the player and the club.
It reads, “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 honor a footballer who has been, is, and always will be beloved by Barça.”
Linking up with his former Barcelona teammate Neymar, Lionel Messi enjoyed a successful two-year spell with Paris Saint-Germain, scoring 32 goals in 75 appearances across all competitions and winning Ligue 1 twice. His contract with the French club is officially set to expire on June 30, and his departure has been confirmed