‘Messi vs. Messi’ is off… Messi to play professional soccer in the U.S.
Lionel Messi (36-Argentina-photo), the “God of Soccer,” is heading to Inter Miami of the American Major League Soccer (MLS). The move was made after a return to his hometown club FC Barcelona (Spain) fell through due to the club’s financial situation. Messi also rejected an offer from Saudi Arabia for “oil money,” saying that “money is not everything.
The MLS office confirmed on Monday that “Messi wants to join Miami and MLS. Messi himself has confirmed this and we welcome one of the greatest soccer players of all time to MLS,” the league announced. “I have decided to go to MLS Miami,” Messi told Spanish media later in the day, “The transfer process is not yet 100% complete, but I will continue to work on my move to Miami.” Messi, whose contract with Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) expires at the end of the 2022-2023 season, will play outside of Europe for the first time since his debut.
According to Sports Illustrated, Messi’s move to the United States was largely driven by the support of the global companies that sponsor MLS.
Apple TV, the OTT that will broadcast MLS games for 10 years starting this season, has reportedly considered sharing a portion of its revenue with Messi. Another sponsor, Adidas, has also explored ways to share revenue from MLS. Add to that the fact that one of Miami’s co-owners is David Beckham, and Messi’s move may have been influential.
As the BBC explained, “Messi was drawn to Miami for reasons other than soccer, including big brand deals and lifestyle.”메이저사이트
Saudi Arabia was originally a strong possibility for Messi. Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal had offered Messi a staggering $570 million salary. Saudi professional soccer has been luring big-name stars to the league, with Cristiano Ronaldo signing in January and Karim Benzema recently. “If I was thinking about money, I would have gone to Saudi Arabia or somewhere else,” Messi said in an interview, adding, “My decision has nothing to do with money.”
His return to Barcelona, his home team for more than two decades, was hindered by financial concerns, just like his tearful departure in 2021.