Messi takes Decision on Future, to Join Bottom-placed US Club - 9japarrot


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Thursday 8 June 2023

Messi takes Decision on Future, to Join Bottom-placed US Club


By Nurat Uthman

Lionel Messi said on Wednesday he will sign for Major League Soccer side Inter Miami, choosing the United States as his next destination over a Barcelona reunion or blockbuster deal to play in Saudi Arabia.

Inter Miami, co-owned by former England international David Beckham and founded in 2018, sacked coach Phil Neville last week with the team bottom of the Eastern Conference.

The Argentine forward, 35, has spent the last two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain, playing his final game for the club on Saturday, after moving from Barcelona in 2021, where he spent the majority of his career.

MLS and Inter Miami confirmed the news on social media, although the American league noted that “work remains to finalise a formal agreement”.

“I’ve taken the decision that I am going to Miami; I don’t have the deal 100 per cent sealed, or maybe there’s something left to do, but we decided to continue our path there,” Messi told Spanish newspapers Diario Sport and Mundo Deportivo.

“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.”

Messi is a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and is expected to earn the individual accolade once more after leading Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar in December.

The football world was eagerly awaiting Messi’s decision after PSG confirmed this week the playmaker, widely considered the best player in the history of football, was departing.

The romance of a Barcelona return and prospect of eye-watering riches in Saudi Arabia fell by the wayside as Messi opted to join MLS, with Miami a city he has holidayed in on previous occasions.

“If it had been a question of money, I would have gone to Saudi Arabia or elsewhere,” said Messi.

“It seemed a lot of money and the truth is that my decision went another way and not for money.”

Some reports say key MLS sponsors including Adidas and Apple TV, who own the league’s domestic broadcasting rights, may be contributing to his deal.

Messi, who turns 36 later this month, is now set to finish his club career outside the spotlight of top-level European football.

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