Lionel Messi is to sign for Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami, the player said on Wednesday in interviews with Spanish media, choosing the US as his next destination over a Barcelona reunion or a blockbuster deal to play in Saudi Arabia.
The Argentina forward, 35, has spent the past 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.
“I was afraid that it would happen again,” Messi told Spanish newspapers Diario Sport and Mundo Deportivo.
“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, it’s true that I had offers from another European team, but I didn’t even think about it because in Europe, my idea was only to go to Barcelona,” he said.
“After winning the [FIFA] 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.”
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