Lionel Messi yesterday announced that he intends to join Major League Football side Inter Miami as a free agent after parting ways with French champions Paris St Germain and snubbing a lucrative contract offer in Saudi Arabia.
Messi, who played his final game for PSG over the weekend, was also linked with a return to Barcelona but the Spanish club have had their hands tied due to LaLiga’s financial fair play rules.
“I made the decision that I’m going to go to Miami,” Messi said in an interview with Mundo Deportivo and Sport newspapers.
“I still haven’t closed it 100 per cent. I’m still missing a few things, but we decided to go ahead. If Barcelona didn’t work out, I wanted to leave Europe, get out of the spotlight and think more about my family.”
Messi, who led Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar in December and has earned a record seven Ballon d’Or awards, won the Ligue 1 title in his two seasons with PSG as well as the French Super Cup in 2022.
“After winning the World Cup and not being able to go to Barca, it was time to go to the US league to experience football in a different way and enjoy the day-to-day,” Messi said.
“Obviously with the same responsibility and desire to want to win and to always do things well. But with more peace of mind.”
The MLS said it was pleased that Messi intends to join Inter Miami this summer.
“Although work remains to finalise a formal agreement, we look forward to welcoming one of the greatest football players of all time to our League,” MLS said.