Lionel Messi on Wednesday announced he will sign for major league soccer side inter Miami, choosing the united states as his next destination over a Barcelona reunion or blockbuster deal to play in Saudi Arabia.
The argentine forward has spent the last two seasons at Paris saint-Germain, playing his final game for the club on Saturday, after moving from Barcelona in 2021, where he spent the majority of his career.
Messi said that he did not want to have to wait for Barcelona to find a formula to be able to sign him given their financial situation — they were unable to keep him before his move to PSG, leading to a tearful departure.
MLS and inter Miami confirmed the news on social media.
“I was afraid that it would happen again,” Messi told Spanish newspapers.
“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.
“(I decided) to leave Europe…
“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.
“Obviously with the same responsibility and desire to win, and to do things well, but with more calm.”
Inter Miami, co-owned by former England international David Beckham and founded in 2018, sacked coach Phil Neville last week with the team bottom of the eastern conference — with argentine Javier Morales taking over on an interim basis.
The romance of a Barcelona return and 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.
Some reports say key MLS sponsors including sportswear brand Adidas and apple TV, who owns the league’s domestic broadcasting rights, may be contributing to his deal.