Lionel Messi goes to the USA.Image: Cornerstone
Lionel Messi has made his decision. He does not see his sporting future with his old love Barcelona nor in the financially tempting Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In an interview with Spanish media, he explained his motives.
June 8, 2023, 6:32 amJune 8, 2023 at 1:37 pm
First, Messi poses in an interview with Spanish sports newspapers Mondo Sports “Sport” explained that money played no role in his decision. The 35-year-old says about negotiations with Barcelona:
“We never negotiated my salary. It wasn't about the money, if it had been I would have moved to Saudi Arabia. Looks like there was a lot of money for me there.”
It is not clear how much Messi could have made by moving to Al Hilal in the Arabian Peninsula. The information fluctuated between 200 and 500 million euros – annually.
🚨🚨 BREAKING: Lionel Messi to Inter Miami, here we go! The decision has been made and Leo will announce it in the coming hours #InterMiami
🇺🇸 Messi wants to play in the American League. No more chances for Barcelona/Al Hilal, despite their attempts to achieve this.
– Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 7, 2023
The Argentine star will also be paid well in the United States. However, nothing official is known about the exact details of his contract with club co-owner David Beckham. According to rumors, the American League and the technology giant Apple will cover part of Messi's wages.
So it wasn't about the money for him – what was it about? Messi explains in detail why he was drawn to the USA. Or rather: he explains in detail why he will never hire his old love Barcelona again.
“I really wanted to return to Barcelona, I had this dream. But after what happened two years ago… I didn't want to go through that situation again, and put my future in someone else's hands. I wanted to make my own decision and think about myself and my family.”
It was heard that the Spanish League gave the green light for the transfer. But there were “a lot of things” that were not clear that would eventually make a return to Barcelona possible. The possibility that it would work and then not – he especially didn't want to expose his children to that:
“I didn’t want to say to my kids: ‘We’re going back to Barcelona.’ And then – nothing.”
Messi responded to a question from reporters that he was not sure whether Barcelona officials had done everything to make his return possible. He explained: “I am sure that there are people in the club, in the board of directors, who do not want me to return to Barcelona and will see this as a negative for the club.”
He only knows what Barcelona coach and former teammate Xavi told him. I talked to him a lot. Messi also said he did not want to be responsible for Barcelona having to sell players or cut salaries.
Two years ago, when he was about to leave Barcelona, he was accused of many things that were not true. He's tired of it and doesn't want to go through that again.
So why USA and Miami and not another team in Europe? He had offers from European clubs, but the only team that was considered in Europe was Barcelona. When he realized that there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the return, his decision became clear.
“After achieving everything, thanks to God, and finally winning the world title that I wanted so much, I have other needs. I want to find some peace of mind. Now try something new in Miami.
But Messi is by no means parting ways with Barcelona due to the recent failed negotiations. He made it clear in the interview that he would definitely like to work with Barcelona again one day – in any role.
“I hope I can contribute something to the club one day. Because it's the club I love. I appreciate the love people have shown me throughout my career. I would love to be there again.”
And in Barcelona too, the affection for Messi (at least officially) seems to have not changed. The club issued a media statement stating that President Laporta will understand and respect Messi's decision.
In collaboration with Messi's father, Jorge, a worthy tribute will also be organized “to honor a footballer who has been and will always be beloved by Barcelona.”
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