June 7, 2023: After leaving French champions Paris St-Germain, Argentinian football legend Lionel Messi has chosen to join Inter Miami, an American team. He will turn down a more lucrative offer from the Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal.
The deal with Inter Miami involves collaborations with major brands like Adidas and Apple.
Messi, a forward aged 35, has been crowned the world’s best player seven times and is expected to win the award again this year following his success at the World Cup.
This move marks the first time the iconic Barcelona player will play outside Europe.
Initially, Messi wished to continue his career in Europe for another season. However, since no satisfactory offers were received, he had to choose between Inter Miami and Al-Hilal.
It was widely believed that he was leaning towards a move to Saudi Arabia, where he would have joined Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in the league in a deal that couldn’t be matched financially.
Ultimately, Messi was enticed by the prospects offered by Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami. Lifestyle considerations, as well as endorsement opportunities beyond football, were key factors in his decision.
Messi already owns a house in Miami, which he currently rents out.
While he expressed interest in returning to Barcelona this summer, Financial Fair Play limitations in La Liga for the upcoming season made any ambitious plans for his comeback impossible.
During his time at Paris St-Germain, the team won Ligue 1 in both seasons, but their performance in the Champions League fell short in the last 16. As a result, his tenure in France was not considered a major success.
Throughout his time with the club, Messi scored 32 goals in 75 games, concluding the recent season with 16 goals and 16 assists in Ligue 1.
Messi’s two-year contract with Paris St-Germain is set to expire this summer, and both parties agreed to part ways. He received a two-week suspension for an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia in May.
His legacy primarily stems from his illustrious career at Barcelona and his triumph at the World Cup with Argentina in December.
Messi departed Barcelona in 2021 after spending 21 years with the club due to financial difficulties.
With 672 goals, he remains Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer and boasts 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues, and seven Spanish Cups.