Argentina’s football legend Lionel Messi has chosen to continue his career with American side Inter Miami following his departure from French champions Paris St-Germain.
Despite receiving a more lucrative offer from Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal, the former Barcelona forward has decided to reject it.
The news was confirmed by Fabrizio Romano, who shared the information on Twitter and stated that Messi would soon make a formal announcement.
He wrote: “🚨🚨 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
“🇺🇸 Messi will play in MLS. No more chances for Barcelona/Al Hilal despite trying to make it happen.”
The agreement with Inter Miami involves collaboration from renowned brands such as Adidas and Apple.
🚨🚨 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
🇺🇸 Messi will play in MLS. No more chances for Barcelona/Al Hilal despite trying to make it happen.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 7, 2023
Messi, aged 35, has been awarded the Ballon d’Or, recognizing him as the world’s best player, a record-breaking seven times. He is expected to claim the prestigious title once again later this year following his success in the World Cup.
This move marks the first time that the iconic Barcelona player will compete outside of Europe. While he initially expressed a desire to remain in Europe for another season, the lack of satisfactory offers led him to choose between Inter Miami and Al-Hilal.
There were strong indications that Messi favored a move to Saudi Arabia, where he would have joined forces with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in a league that offered an unmatched financial package.
However, in the end, Messi was enticed by the prospect of joining Major League Soccer (MLS) and opting for Inter Miami due to various factors, including lifestyle opportunities and a partnership with prominent brands that extends beyond football. It is worth noting that Messi already owns a house in Miami, which he currently rents out.
Although he had hoped for a return to Barcelona this summer, the Financial Fair Play (FFP) limitations imposed by La Liga for the upcoming season made any ambitious plans to bring him back impossible.
During his time at Paris St-Germain, the team won Ligue 1 in both of his seasons there. However, their exit in the Champions League round of 16 meant that Messi’s tenure in France was not considered a resounding success. He scored 32 goals in 75 appearances for the club and concluded the most recent season with 16 goals and 16 assists in Ligue 1.
Messi’s two-year contract with Paris St-Germain expires this summer, and both parties mutually agreed to part ways. In May, the forward was suspended for two weeks due to an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia.