Lionel Messi has explained his choice for Inter Miami FC in conversation with the Catalan newspapers SPORT and Mundo Deportivo. The attacker says that he actually wanted to return to Barcelona, but that he has decided against this due to the uncertain financial situation at the club.
Messi wanted to return to Barcelona and explains why that is not happening now
Xavi, Messi’s former teammate and now head coach of Barcelona, has done everything he can to bring the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner back to the Camp Nou. And almost successfully. “I really wanted to return,” said Messi. “I was very excited about that. But, on the other hand, after what I went through when I left… I didn’t want to be in that situation again.”
Two years ago, Messi planned to extend his expiring contract with Barcelona. However, that turned out to be financially impossible, after which the Argentinian left for Paris Saint-Germain. “I didn’t want to put my future in someone else’s hands now,” Messi explains. “Although I heard that LaLiga accepted everything and that everything was in order for my return, there were still many things to be arranged.”
“I heard that they had to sell players or that other players had to cut salaries,” Messi continued. “I didn’t want to be a part of that. Moreover: when I left, LaLiga also said that everything was fine. But in the end I couldn’t register. So now I wanted to make my own decision and that’s why I didn’t choose Barcelona. I thought it would have been great to play for the club again, but it just wasn’t possible.”
Perhaps after his playing career it will come to a new collaboration. He concluded, “A return in a different role? Yes, of course I would like that. It is already certain that we will live in Barcelona after my career and hopefully one day I can contribute something to the club that I love.”
MLS is still silent about the Messi transfer
However, the American competition organizer Major League Soccer (MLS) is still a little wary of the transfer of the Argentinian.
Shortly after Messi’s announcement that he is exchanging Paris Saint-Germain for Inter Miami FC, the MLS posted a statement online welcoming the 35-year-old attacker. “We are pleased that Lionel Messi has indicated his intention to join Inter Miami and Major League Soccer this summer. While work is still underway on a formal agreement. We look forward to welcoming one of the greatest footballers of all time to our league.”
Barcelona has since responded to Messi’s decision with an official statement. The club was informed on Monday by Jorge Messi, the attacker’s father and agent, and says it respects the club icon’s decision. Furthermore, Barcelona reports that Jorge Messi and Joan Laporta have agreed to work on a tribute for Messi, who has never been given an official farewell.
Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, who became world champion with Argentina in December, will become a teammate of Dutchman Nick Marsman in Miami.