Lionel Messi has disclosed why a Barcelona homecoming did not figure into his plans. On the cusp of his transfer to Inter Miami, at the expiration of his PSG contract later this month, the Argentine candidly unveiled his reasons.
Paparazzi recently snapped his father and agent, Jorge Messi, engaged in discussions with Barcelona president Joan Laporta, potentially revolving around a return to Catalonia. However, the stringent financial fair play (FFP) rules of La Liga stopped the negotiations in their tracks.
Fresh off leading his nation to World Cup victory last December, the 35-year-old Argentine now prepares to step onto the American turf, linking up with Inter Miami. In a candid sit-down with Mundo Deportivo, Messi unveiled the reasons behind forgoing a return to his former club. He admitted openly that he was genuinely interested in a reunion, but there were uncertainties:
"I really wanted and was very excited about being able to return, but on the other hand, after experiencing what I experienced and the way I left, I didn't want to be in the same situation again: waiting to see what would happen and leaving my future in someone else's hands."
Continuing in the same vein, Lionel Messi further explained:
"I wanted to make my own decision, thinking about myself, about my family. Although I heard that it was being said that La Liga had accepted everything and that everything was fine for me to come back, there were still many other things that needed to happen."
"I heard that they had to sell players or reduce players' salaries, and the truth is that I didn't want to go through that or take responsibility for something related to all of that. I have already been accused of many things that were not true in my career at Barcelona, and I was already a bit tired; I didn't want to go through all of that."
In the end, Lionel Messi did not join the 2022-23 La Liga champions and will be joining Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami.
Barcelona could not secure Lionel Messi, Inter Miami debut awaits
Jorge Messi, father and agent of Lionel Messi, admitted that the allure of Barcelona initially swayed his son. However, the club's daunting financial crisis rendered a final agreement unfeasible.
The Catalans, faced with a dire economic predicament, saw the exit of stalwarts Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba. Yet, the wage bill has still required substantial pruning before they register any new talent on the roster.
In an intriguing development, rumors (via GOAL) have circulated about the seven-time Ballon d'Or recipient donning the Inter Miami jersey as early as July 21. A tantalizing Leagues Cup encounter with the formidable Mexican club, Cruz Azul, might witness Lionel Messi's much-anticipated American debut.
Lionel Messi's monumental shift from European football to the burgeoning MLS platform promises an exciting future stateside.