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Lionel Messi joins Inter Miami, USA


To Saudi Arabia and Spain, where he was expected, Lionel Messi preferred the United States. The 2022 world champion announced on Wednesday June 7 that he was going to join Inter Miami, which plays in the North American championship (Major League Soccer, MLS).

“I decided I was going to Miami, I didn’t [un accord] 100% done or maybe there are still things to do but we decided to continue our way there”the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner told Spanish newspapers Sports Diario And Mundo Deportivo.

“It was two years where I was not happy, I did not like that. And it affected my family life, I missed a lot of my children’s life in school. In Barcelona I was going to look for them, here I did it much less, I shared fewer activities with them., he said, explaining that he now intended to prioritize his family life.

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After the end of his adventure at PSG, the Argentine star, 35, had the choice between three destinations: a return to the fold in Barcelona, ​​his training club, the call of petrodollars from Saudi Arabia, which have already seduced Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, or Major League Soccer, across the Atlantic.

Failure of negotiations with Barça

It is finally under the Miami sun that Messi will undoubtedly write the last pages of his immense career within a franchise belonging to David Beckham and American billionaires Jorge and Jose Mas. The choice of Messi, the result of long negotiations carried out on his behalf by his father, Jorge, who manages his interests, is rather a surprise as the Argentinian seemed close to committing to a Saudi club. Senior leaders of the Riyadh club, Al-Hilal, had even made the trip to Paris on Sunday to try to conclude the agreement, Agence France-Presse had learned from sources close to the talks.

But Messi’s ultimate desire was above all to find Barça, whom he had to leave with a heavy heart in 2021 to join PSG, the Catalan club being unable to keep him for financial reasons. These are the same reasons that derailed “Operation Return” even though Jorge Messi assured Monday that this option was his son’s preference. But the management of the blaugrana formation had to wait for the Spanish League to validate its economic viability plan before being able to consider recruiting the “Pulga”. Something to cool the ardor of the Messi clan.

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The Inter Miami track has therefore logically arrived at the top of the list despite Messi’s desire to remain in a high-level championship with a view to the Copa America in 2024. To complete the transfer, the club from the coast Est has benefited from the income generated by the agreement concluded in the spring between MLS and Apple, which offers on its Apple TV + service a subscription to follow the American championship, the MLS Season Pass. This agreement was signed for 2.5 billion current dollars over ten years. On Tuesday, Apple TV + also announced the upcoming broadcast of a four-part documentary series, retracing the five World Cups played by Messi.

For MLS, which now focuses its development on the reinforcement of young people and no longer of old glories as in its beginnings, the arrival of Messi constitutes incomparable publicity.
The presence of Messi, who already has a residence in Miami, would also be an obvious plus in the promotion of the 2026 World Cup, co-organized with Canada and Mexico.

The World with AFP