Argentina World Cup winner Lionel Messi confirmed on Wednesday that he was joining Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami.
“I am joinging Inter Miami. The decision is 100% confirmed,” the 35-year-old Messi told Mundo Deportivo.
“If it had been a matter of money, I’d have gone to Saudi Arabia or elsewhere. It seemed like a lot of money to me. The truth is that my final decision goes elsewhere and it is not because of money,” said Messi, who had a decorated spell with Barcelona.
Inter Miami, which was founded five years ago, is partly owned by football icon David Beckham and plays in the Eastern Conference of the MLS.
Messi spent the last two seasons with French champion Paris Saint-Germain. He netted 32 goals in 75 games for the club - and ended this season with 16 goals and 16 assists in Ligue 1.
Messi was heavily linked with Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal, but the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner chose Inter Miami.
The Argentine’s preferred destination would have been Barcelona, but the Financial Fair Play regulations in Spain’s top flight have made the ambitious plan almost next to impossible.
He left Barca in 2021, after 21 years with the club, due to the club’s financial problems. Messi left as Barca’s record scorer with 672 goals and won 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and seven Spanish Cups during his time with the Catalan side.
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