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Lionel Messi announces intention to join Inter Miami in MLS



Lionel Messi is heading to the United States to play for Inter Miami in Major League Soccer next season.

The surprising announcement came Wednesday, when Messi confirmed reports that he will be spurning Saudi Arabia’s reported boatloads of cash and his old Barcelona squad to play for David Beckham’s co-owned Inter Miami squad.

Messi made the official announcement via Spanish publications Mundo Deportivo and Sport.

Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain control ball during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain and FC Lorient at Parc des Princes on April 30, 2023, in Paris. (Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

“I have made the decision that I am going to Miami. I still don’t have it agreed upon 100% and a few things are needed, but well, we decided to continue my path there,” Messi said.


“After winning the World Cup and not being able to return to Barcelona, it was my turn to go to the league of the United States to live football in another way and to enjoy the day-to-day more – obviously, with the same responsibility and desire to play well and do things well, as always, but in a calmer way.”

Messi also said he wanted to make something work with Barcelona, who couldn’t resign him in 2021 due to a financial crisis.


“Obviously, I had a lot of hope that I would be able to return [to Barcelona], but after what happened and the way I left, I didn’t want to go through the same situation and leave my future in someone else’s hands. I had to make my own decision, thinking about me and my family. I made the decision that I’m going to Miami.”

Though nothing is agreed upon just yet, Inter Miami’s package to Messi is reported to be massive.

Argentina's Lionel Messi waves

Argentina’s Lionel Messi waves after receiving the Golden Ball award for best player of the tournament at the end of the World Cup final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Dec. 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

It starts with an option to have partial ownership of the franchise, though it will not be subsidized like Beckham’s was in 2007 when he went to L.A. Galaxy, per ESPN. He was given the option to purchase the team for a discounted $25 million.

There’s also an unprecedented incentive to joining Inter Miami as Messi is reportedly going to get a cut of the revenue from new subscribers to Apple’s streaming service for the league, MLS Season Pass. Finally, a deal with Adidas has also been discussed, but it has nothing to do with MLS.


With the move to the U.S., Messi is easily the biggest name to join the league since its inception in 1993. Before that, Beckham was the biggest draw when he joined the Galaxy.

Lionel Messi of Argentina with the world cup trophy, FIFA World Cup Trophy during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022, in Al Daayen, Qatar. (ANP via Getty Images)

Messi, 35, continues to play at an elite level, scoring 16 goals and 16 assists in 32 matches for France’s Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 during the 2022-2023 season. He is also fresh off a World Cup victory with Argentina as he finally got the elusive hardware in his possession, which many believe solidifies his place as the best footballer to grace a pitch in history.

Source: Fox News


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