Lionel Messi’s Move to MLS Confirmed


Lionel Messi Confirms Move to MLS

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Lionel Messi has made a significant announcement, revealing his intention to join Inter Miami, a Major League Soccer team, as a free agent. This decision comes after his departure from Paris St Germain, the French champions, and his rejection of a lucrative contract offer from Saudi Arabia.

Although there were speculations of a possible return to Barcelona, the Spanish club faced constraints due to LaLiga’s financial fair play rules, making it an unviable option. In an interview with Mundo Deportivo and Sport newspapers, Messi expressed his reasons for choosing Miami: “I made the decision that I’m going to go to Miami. I still haven’t closed it 100%. I’m still missing a few things, but we decided to go ahead. If Barcelona didn’t work out, I wanted to leave Europe, get out of the spotlight, and think more about my family.”

Messi, who led Argentina to World Cup victory in Qatar last December and holds a record seven Ballon d’Or awards, secured the Ligue 1 title and the French Super Cup in his two seasons with PSG. Reflecting on his decision, Messi stated, “After winning the World Cup and not being able to go to Barca, it was time to go to the U.S. league to experience football in a different way and enjoy the day-to-day. Obviously with the same responsibility and desire to want to win and to always do things well, but with more peace of mind.”

This move to Inter Miami signifies a significant triumph for Major League Soccer, which eagerly welcomed Messi while finalizing the details of the formal agreement. MLS tweeted with enthusiasm, “The 🐐 is coming,” using the goat emoji to represent “greatest of all time.” The arrival of Messi is expected to attract a large audience to the Apple TV streaming platform, as he is the world’s most recognizable soccer player.


Match Highlights

The 🐐 is coming. Millions of MLS fans all over the world welcome you, Leo.

Follow along for more. 👀

— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 7, 2023

Negotiations revealed that Messi sought a club where he could eventually hold an ownership stake. It is anticipated that his contract with Inter Miami will pave the way for such an opportunity after his retirement. Additionally, he will receive a share of the revenue from Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass, which broadcasts league games, and capitalize on his existing sponsorship deal with Adidas.

While Al-Hilal, a Saudi Arabian club, extended a formal offer to Messi, he emphasized that his decision was not driven by financial considerations. “If it had been a question of money, I would have gone to Arabia or elsewhere where they offered me a lot of money,” Messi clarified.

Inter Miami, co-owned by former England captain David Beckham, presents a new challenge for Messi. The team currently sits at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, six points away from the ninth-place position, which would grant them a chance to qualify for the playoffs. The recent dismissal of coach Phil Neville further highlights the club’s struggles this season, in stark contrast to their previous achievement of reaching the MLS Cup playoffs by finishing sixth.

This latest chapter in Messi’s career marks a remarkable turn of events, as he departs two prominent clubs without a transfer fee. At Barcelona, where he had achieved numerous records and considered the city his home since his teenage years, financial constraints forced his departure. In the case of PSG, Messi opted to leave due to a perceived lack of a long-term project and growing fan unrest.

Following Argentina’s World Cup triumph after 36 years, Messi faced a challenging period in Paris. His club’s disappointing form led to unprecedented backlash from PSG fans. Despite their dominance in domestic competitions, PSG, funded by Qatar Sports Investments, continues to pursue the elusive Champions League title, which they have failed to secure after repeated early exits in the last 16.


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