Argentine football legend Lionel Messi is poised to join Inter Miami, an American team, following his departure from French champions Paris St-Germain.
Despite receiving a more financially lucrative offer from Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal, the former Barcelona forward has chosen the Miami deal. The agreement with Inter Miami involves partnerships with renowned brands such as Adidas and Apple.
At the age of 35, Messi has won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player on seven occasions and is expected to secure the accolade once again this year after his success in the World Cup. This marks the first time that the iconic Barcelona player will compete outside of Europe.
Initially, Messi desired to remain in Europe for another season, but due to a lack of satisfactory offers, he faced a straightforward decision between Inter Miami and Al-Hilal. Although there was significant speculation favoring a move to Saudi Arabia, where he would have joined Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in the league, the financial aspects were unable to match the allure of Major League Soccer (MLS) with Inter Miami.
Messi was enticed by several factors, including the lifestyle opportunities and partnerships with prominent brands that extend beyond the realm of football. Additionally, he already owns a residence in Miami, which he currently rents out.
While he expressed interest in returning to Barcelona this summer, the Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions in place for the upcoming La Liga season rendered any ambitious plans for his homecoming impossible.
During his time at Paris St-Germain, the club won Ligue 1 in both of Messi’s seasons but experienced an early exit from the Champions League round of 16, leading to his tenure in France being viewed as less successful. In his 75 games for the club, he scored 32 goals, concluding this season with 16 goals and 16 assists in Ligue 1.
Messi’s two-year contract with Paris St-Germain concludes this summer, and both parties agreed to part ways. In May, the forward was suspended for two weeks following an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia. His legacy is primarily rooted in his time at Barcelona and his triumph in winning the World Cup with Argentina in December.
He left Barcelona in 2021 after spending 21 years with the club due to their financial troubles. Messi holds the record for the most goals scored by a Barcelona player, with 672 goals, and has claimed 10 La Liga titles, four Champions League titles, and seven Spanish Cups.