Lionel Messi, a legendary Argentine footballer, revealed on 7 June in interviews with Spanish media that he is about to sign a contract with Major League Soccer (MLS) team Inter Miami. Messi chose the United States as his next destination over a reunion with Barcelona or a lucrative deal to play in Saudi Arabia.
The 35-year-old Argentine forward, who spent the majority of his career at Barcelona, moved to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in 2021 and spent the last two seasons there until playing his final match for the team on Saturday. Here’s what he said during the interview while revealing his brand-new contract.
“I was afraid that it would happen again, I’ve taken the decision that I am going to Miami, I don’t have [the deal] 100% 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.
Messi’s brilliant records in 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.” Messi was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
Messi is one of the best goal scorers in the history of the game as he has scored more than 800 goals across his club and national team careers. He has scored 102 goals in more than 17 years of playing for Argentina against 38 different national teams, with 16 of those goals coming on American territory. Meanwhile, Barcelona released a statement after Messi decided to move to the United States wishing the former Argentine star luck in the league.
“On Monday, June 5, Jorge Messi, the player’s father, and representative, informed Club President Joan Laporta of the player’s decision to join Inter Miami, despite having been presented with a proposal from Barça, in consideration of the desire of both FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi for him to once again wear Blaugrana.
“President Laporta understood and respected Messi’s decision to want to compete in a league with fewer demands, further away from the spotlight and the pressure he has been subject to in recent years,” the statement from Barcelona read from Instagram.
Here’s how fans reacted:
So Barcelona rejected Messi 😂
— French 🇫🇷 (@Mc_Phils) June 7, 2023
End of an era🕊️ pic.twitter.com/pEdKfW7GKz
— Slixx🇧🇦🇱🇺 (@TheLucasLad) June 7, 2023
— Ounahi stan🇲🇦 (@CrewsmatMorocco) June 7, 2023
Messi is about to change Inter Miami. And i will be here for it
— Khaleed 💸 (@KhaleedSZN) June 7, 2023
— zafer (@zaferali2) June 7, 2023
Sometimes, money is not everything afterall 👍
— JETmien 👑 (@Imjetmien) June 7, 2023
Barcelona fans 😂😂😂
— Joan (@Joan_Afc) June 7, 2023
Messi joining the wrong Inter pic.twitter.com/xE2w5vjl0s
— Alya (@cryptozeydcarey) June 7, 2023
On we go Messi the God of Soccer.
— Nαɳα Kɯαɱҽ (@NanaKwame_off) June 7, 2023