- Argentine heading to the United States
- Leaving PSG as a free agent
- Opted against return to Camp Nou
WHAT HAPPENED? The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has brought the uncertainty regarding his future to a close by announcing a stunning summer switch to MLS. The legendary Argentine is bringing a difficult two-year stint at Paris Saint-Germain to a close, becoming a free agent at the end of his contract in France. A return to Camp Nou had been widely speculated on for the 35-year-old forward, while talk of penning a lucrative deal in the Middle East was never far away, but Messi has decided to head for the United States.
WHAT THEY SAID: Messi has told Mundo Deportivo of why he decided to chase an American dream, with the intention being to step out from under the brightest of spotlights: “I had offers from other European teams but I didn't even evaluate them because my idea was to go to Barcelona and if the Barcelona thing didn't happen, analysing it, then leaving European football - and much more after winning the World Cup, which was what I needed to close my career on this side - was the best idea. It was also about living in the United States, in a different way and enjoying day to day much more but with the same responsibility of wanting to win and always doing things well, but with more peace of mind.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi has also stated that he began to explore alternative options to La Liga champions Barcelona as they were unable to “confirm 100 per cent” that he could return to Catalunya – with much-publicised financial struggles having initially forced him to sever ties with the Blaugrana back in 2021.
IN TWO PHOTOS:(C)GOAL
WHAT NEXT? Messi will not be linking up with David Beckham co-owned Inter Miami until July 5, with it possible that his first appearance could come in the new Leagues Cup against Mexican side Cruz Azul on July 21 – with his MLS bow set to be made against Charlotte FC on August 21.