LIONEL MESSI IS COMING TO MLS! LIONEL MESSI IS COMING TO MLS! LIONEL MESSI IS COMING TO MLS!
Well, that is if we believe the report of Guillem Balague. Who's that guy? A BBC and CBS collaborator who also happens to be Messi's biographer.
Messi has decided. His destination: Inter MiamiLeo Messi se va al Inter Miami
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) June 7, 2023
"Messi has decided. His destination: Inter Miami. Leo Messi se va al Inter Miami," Balague wrote Wednesday morning, solidifying versions that were already floating online, saying that Barcelona could not guarantee the financial maneuvers needed for their sentimental reunion while the Argentine superstar was ready to reject a whopping $1.2 billion offer from Saudi side Al-Hilal.
How do you say no to that?
Top soccer reporter and transfer-guru Fabrizio Romano has also confirmed that Messi is heading to the States.
BREAKING: Lionel Messi to Inter Miami, here we go! The decision has been made and it will be announced by Leo in the next hours #InterMiamiMessi will play in MLS next season. No more chances for Barcelona despite trying to make it happen.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 7, 2023
Lionel Messi to Inter Miami
Before and after Messi's exit from PSG, the chances of extending his career were always the same: Barcelona, Al-Hilal or Inter Miami.
A couple of days ago, Messi's father, Jorge, met with Barcelona's president Joan Laporta. After the conversation, he told the media that his son's heart was set on an emotional return to the Blaugranas. But 48 hours after, it seems that the Financial Fair Play limitations that will be in LaLiga 2023-24 made the agreement not viable.
What about Al-Hilal? The colossal $1.2 billion check offered by Al-Hilal for the next two seasons was very tempting. In fact, according to Balague, Messi was "heavily tipped" to favor them. However, the Inter Miami/MLS Hail Mary plan seems to have done the impossible.
One of the first hints of this happening was given by Catalan journalist and streamer Gerard Romero, who posted on Twitter the song "La Gozadera" from Gente de Zona on Wednesday night. The song has a verse that says, "Miami me lo confirmó" (Miami confirmed it to me). And things went wild.
Ha sido bonito, señores.https://t.co/GIUtvUUONp— Gerard Romero (@gerardromero) June 6, 2023
You are now probably wondering what Inter Miami and MLS offered to convince Messi. And well, the boys from The Athletic have done their job. According to an article published on their website, besides a TBD salary, the league is also offering him a cut of its deal with Apple TV and adidas.
Both brands already have ties with Messi. Apple recently announced that they are going to release a four-part documental of the player during the 2022 World Cup, while adidas has been the player's sponsor since 2006.
The deal MLS is putting together to lure Leo Messi is truly unprecedented.✅ Profit sharing with Apple
✅ Adidas offering up a cut as well
✅ “(MLS) has gotten very creative.”
➕ more news on Tata Martino’s link to Miami.
w/ @FelipeCar & @MLSist: https://t.co/MNxjUldi9O
— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) June 7, 2023
Of course, not everything is money.
Messi's family loves the lifestyle in the U.S. In fact, they already have a house in Miami and go to Disney frequently, not only because of their children but also because it's a place of fond memories for Messi and his wife, Antonela Roccuzzo, as it was one of their first vacations together when they were two lovely teens.
So, yeah, LIONEL MESSI IS COMING TO MLS. And it's not a drill.