Lionel Messi Announces Move to MLS Inter Miami



MIA „Rosiya Segodnya“




Sputnik International


MIA „Rosiya Segodnya“

Sputnik International


MIA „Rosiya Segodnya“

lionel messi, fc inter miami, us major league soccer, messi’s father jorge, fc barcelona

lionel messi, fc inter miami, us major league soccer, messi’s father jorge, fc barcelona

Earlier reports had speculated that the Argentine player was likely to either make a surprise return to Camp Nou, or follow in the steps of his Portuguese rival Cristiano Ronaldo and join a Saudi team.

Lionel Messi, one of the greatest footballers of all time, has made a surprising decision about where he intends to spent the latter half of his career – playing for Inter Miami in the US league.

The Argentine superstar revealed his decision to join the US’ Major League Soccer (MLS) in an interview with a Spanish newspaper. Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, will travel to Miami to finalize the deal.

Many had speculated that the 35-year-old player would follow his old rival Cristiano Ronaldo to Saudi Arabia and sign a lucrative deal with Al-Hilal worth €1 billion, whereas others believed he might rejoin Barcelona – the club where he achieved immense success.

Barcelona played a great role in the life of the football star – as a child, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency, but the club eventually bore all the financial costs of treatment for the future star.

However, Barcelona’s financial constraints, which led to his departure in 2021, ruled out a reunion.

“I made the decision that I am going to go to Miami,” Messi said. “I still haven’t closed it 100%. I’m missing some things, but we decided to continue on the path.”

Messi’s contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) is set to expire on June 30, and the French club has confirmed he will not sign a new deal to stay in France.

Torments of Choice

Reports have indicated that there were some disagreements within the Messi family regarding the Argentine player’s future, with Messi’s wife, Antonella, rumored to have preferred the Inter Miami option, while the champion player and his father favored Barcelona.

Messi had previously expressed his desire to play for Barcelona even for free, but it appears that option is not currently available.

Reports indicated Messi and his father reached out to both Al-Hilal and Inter Miami, requesting their assistance in arranging a move back to Barcelona; however, it remains unclear how the clubs could be involved.

The possibility of a loan deal was also mentioned, with Barcelona wanting Messi to move to Inter Miami and then be loaned back to the Catalan club for a certain period.

“If the Barcelona thing didn’t work out, I wanted to leave Europe, get out of the spotlight and think more about my family,” said Messi. “If it had been a matter of money I would have gone to Saudi 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.”

Ultimately, Messi chose the MLS option and turned down the offers from Al-Hilal, despite their substantial salary offer, and Barcelona. He expressed that his decision was not based on money but rather his desire to have control over his own future. Miami, a city where he already owns property and enjoys the lifestyle, proved the winning option.

Messi’s addition to the club and its already established connections to decorated UK footballer David Beckham further adds to the significance of the move, and serves as a publicity boost for MLS.

Aside from Beckham, past notable figures to have joined the US league include Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Thierry Henry, among other players.

Voices of the Crowd

Fans’ opinions on Messi’s announcement have divided themselves into three camps:

Some congratulated the legendary player on his final choice.

Others expressed their disapproval of Messi’s possible loss of footballing spirit in the “soccer” game, giving a nod to the ever present football versus soccer argument.

Others were simply stunned.

Where to Now…

Inter Miami, which is co-owned by David Beckham, was founded in 2018 but began competing in MLS in 2020. The club has not yet achieved significant success, failing to qualify for the playoffs in their first two seasons.

At present, they have poor league position, finishing 27th out of 29 teams in the Eastern Conference. Management also recently fired the team’s manager.

PSG's Lionel Messi reacts during the French League One soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Nice at the Parc des Princes in Paris - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.11.2022

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As for an official stadium, there’s none to be had just yet as they do not yet have a permanent home in Miami. The team currently plays their home matches at a temporary stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The team has faced disciplinary action in the past for violating league roster rules. However, MLS is known for its potential for rapid turnarounds, and Inter Miami, currently six points away from a playoff spot, can still aim for postseason qualification.

The club is reportedly in talks with Tata Martino, who coached Messi at Barcelona and with the Argentina national team, to succeed the departed Phil Neville as manager.

…and For What?

Regarding the terms of his move to Inter Miami, Messi is set to earn €60 million per year. He will also receive a percentage of profits from new Apple+ subscribers who start watching MLS matches and content, as well as profit from the sale of certain Adidas products.

Messi will reportedly also have the option to buy any MLS team once his playing career ends and will be able to choose his own coach for Inter Miami.

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