Lionel Messi have announced that he is joining MLS club Inter Miami after ignoring a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal
The football world has been eagerly awaiting the news of Lionel Messi's next move after his impending departure from Paris St-Germain.
The suspense is finally over: the 35-year-old Argentina and Barcelona legend has announced he will join American side Inter Miami, marking his first venture outside of Europe.
🚨🚨 BREAKING: Lionel Messi to Inter Miami, here we go! The decision has been made and it will be announced by Leo in the next hours #InterMiami— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 7, 2023
🇺🇸 Messi will play in MLS. No more chances for Barcelona/Al Hilal despite trying to make it happen.
𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐄 𝐖𝐄 𝐆𝐎#Messi #MLS pic.twitter.com/OTYWIlEzNc
Messi, who had a lucrative offer on the table from Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal, has instead decided to take his talents to the Major League Soccer (MLS).
Financial Fair Play (FFP) limitations made a return to Barcelona an impossibility, much to the disappointment of the Catalan club and its loyal fans.
Messi spoke to newspapers Diario Sport and Mundo Deportivo, explaining, "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."
BREAKING: Lionel Messi has confirmed he is not going to Barcelona, he is going to Inter Miami ✍️pic.twitter.com/068tQJFxuM— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) June 7, 2023
Although Messi harboured hopes of rejoining Barcelona, the pain of his tearful exit in 2021 remained fresh, and the prospect of another distressing departure due to the club's financial constraints made the decision easier.
This next chapter of Messi's career comes with a partnership deal that includes big brands like Adidas and Apple.
Known for his staggering record of seven Ballon d'Or awards and for leading Argentina to a World Cup victory, Messi's move to Inter Miami is expected to be a game-changer for the MLS.
Despite having a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia, Messi was drawn to Inter Miami for lifestyle reasons and a chance to expand his brand beyond football.
He already owns a home in the vibrant city, which is currently leased out.
Messi's two-year stint at PSG was marked by winning Ligue 1 twice but falling short in the Champions League.
His record of 32 goals in 75 games, including 16 goals and 16 assists in Ligue 1 this season, contributed to his legacy.
Messi will always be remembered for his time at Barcelona, where he is the record scorer with 672 goals, and his triumphs include 10 La Liga titles, four Champions League titles, and seven Spanish Cups.
On his decision to join Inter Miami, Messi remarked, "If it had been a matter of money, I would have gone to Saudi Arabia or elsewhere."