Inter Miami have been linked with Lionel Messi since the first days of the franchise. It always seemed like a fantasy, that the best player in the world and World Cup winner would leave Europe for MLS.
“I made the decision that I am going to Miami. I still haven’t closed it one hundred percent. I’m missing some things but we decided to continue my journey there,” the seven-time world player of the year said in an interview posted by Spanish outlets SPORT and Mundo Deportivo.
MLS said a deal with Messi has not been completed, but welcomed the prospect of Messi playing in the league.
“We are pleased that Lionel Messi has stated that he intends to join Inter Miami and Major League Soccer this summer,” the league said in a Wednesday statement. “Although work remains to finalize a formal agreement, we look forward to welcoming one of the greatest soccer players of all time to our League.”
Last week, SPORT reported that the Inter Miami had made a formal offer to Messi which will pay him $54 million per season for four years.
Messi and his father and agent Jorge Messi have been reported by Joan Fontes as preferring Al-Hilal despite Jorge being recorded by Romero’s Jijantes FC outlet saying they “would love” a second stint at Barca.
But Barcelona’s financial mismanagement did not allow Messi to return to his boyhood club and Barcelona, in a statement, said the player’s father and representative, Jorge Messi, informed club president Joan Laporta on Monday of his son’s decision to join Inter Miami despite an offer from the European team.
Laporta “understood and respected Messi’s decision to want to compete in a league with fewer demands, further away from the spotlight and the pressure he has been subject to in recent years,” the statement said.
Laporta and the eldest Messi also agreed to work together to promote a “tribute from Barça fans to honor a footballer who has been, is, and always will be beloved by Barça.”
Messi’s wife Antonella apparently wants a move to Miami, however, where the Messis own a luxury condo, and it appears that the Qatar 2022 champion has heeded her wish.
Rumors suggest that two of Messi’s former Barcelona teammates Luis Suárez and Sergio Busquets will be joining him in Miami. Inter Miami are also without a manager with former Argentina and Mexico boss Gerardo Tata Martino rumored to be the next manager in Miami.