Lionel Messi Joins MLS, Breaks Silence on Saudi Link, Barcelona Return [See Contract Duration, Salary, Wages, And Prospects]

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Barcelona legend and Argentine World Cup hero, Lionel Messi joins MLS after a legendary 19 years career in Europe.

The 2022 World Cup hero and Argentina playmaker has now opened a new chapter in his career, joining David Beckham’s Inter Miami in the MLS.

Transfer guru, Fabrizio Romano, confirmed the seven times Ballon d’Or winner has sealed a deal with Inter Miami with official announcement expected soon.

After a storied two-year career at Parc des Princes with French champions, PSG, Messi had three concrete options on the table – Al-Hilal, Barcelona, and Inter Miami.

Lionel Messi joins MLS

As per multiple media reports, Al-Hilal splashed a record £500m-a-year deal for Lionel Messi, hoping to lure the 35-year -old to Saudi Arabia.

The Barcelona legend was reportedly close to agreeing a deal with Al-Hilal with reports he is more likely to join the club given his ambassadorial contract with the Gulf state, including his Dad and agent, Jorge Messi’s relationship with the country.

In the final minutes of his PSG career, a viral report admitted Lionel Messi had reached agreement with Al-Hilal but the report was later debunked by Jorge Messi.

Messi’s wife, Antonela Roccuzzo, was reportedly against Lionel Messi’s rumored move to Saudi Arabia for personal reasons.

Barcelona miss out as Lionel Messi joins MLS

Barcelona were also on the trail of Lionel Messi as his PSG contract neared the end. The Catalans hoped to signed Messi after his tearful exit from the club in 2021.

The club confirmed they have contacted Messi to bring him back to Camp Nou but were facing a grinding financial situation which diminished their chances on the prolific midfielder with a legendary legacy at the club.

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However, they received a major boost as La Liga approved their financial viability plan. Also, Jorge Messi was recently seen at the residence of Barcelona president, Joan Laporte, fuelling speculations Messi may likely be closing in on a return to Camp Nou.

Messi Joins MLS

Inter Miami was the least likely to sign Lionel Messi of the three clubs laying siege on PSG for the player. However, the Athletic’s David Ornstein maintained the MLS club are increasingly confident of landing Messi.

French outlet, L’Equipe later reported Inter Miami are closing in on signing Lionel Messi. Guillem Balague added Lionel Messi has decided to pit his tent with Inter Miami before Fabrizio Romano confirmed the door has been closed to both Al-Hilal and Barcelona with the football legend enroute to Inter Miami in the MLS.

Lionel Messi’s contract with Inter Miami

Lionel Messi’s MLS move promises to be the biggest in MLS history with terms of agreement including a part-ownership of Inter Miami and a share of revenue from new subscribers to Apple TV’s MLS streaming service.

According to reports, Inter Miami are offering Lionel Messi a four-year contract which will extend his stay at the club till 2027.

His annual salary cap at the club is estimated at $54million (€50million).

Messi will now earn $4.5m monthly in MLS while his weekly wage stands at $1.1m, and his daily wage, $157k.

Obviously, Inter Miami’s offer is way below Al-Hilal’s $500million-a-year offer.

Lionel Messi Joins MLS, says it is not a matter of money

Speaking with Diaro Sport and Mundo Deportivo, Lionel said the next chapter of his career was not about money and he could have joined Al-Hilal if that was the case.

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“If it had been a matter of money I would have gone to Saudi Arabia or elsewhere”, Messi said.

On Barcelona return, the record Ballon d’Or winner said he had discussed the possibility of returning to Barcelona with Barcelona manager, Xavi and club’s president, Joan Laporte, but it was just a proposal and did not materialize although he (Messi) wanted a return to Camp Nou earnestly.

“We were very excited, because when something came out we would discuss if he really wanted me to come back, if it was good for the team and for him, and we kept in communication,” Messi said.

“We never even got to talk about the contract. A proposal was passed over, but never a formal, written, signed proposal, because there was still nothing and we did not know if it was going to be possible or not.

“There was the intention, but we couldn’t advance anything, we didn’t even talk about money formally,” he said.

Lionel Messi joins MLS and gives reasons for shock move

On why he made the move to the MLS, Lionel Messi put it categorically he wanted to leave Europe since the proposed Barcelona return could not come through. And most importantly, he wanted to play football experiencing a different lifestyle with more calm.

“After winning the World Cup and not being able to go to Barca, it’s time to go to MLS to live football in a different way and enjoy my day to day life more.

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“Obviously with the same responsibility and desire to win, and to do things well, but with more calm.”

Lionel Messi joins MLS, what are the prospects?

Lionel Messi is a class on his own and there are projections the MLS stands to benefit from Messi’s big move.

Speaking with Athletic’s Paul Tenorio and Pablo Maurer, MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, said ”Lionel Messi is a special player and rumors of him connected to Inter Miami is great and if it could happen, it will be terrific for MLS.”

Lionel Messi’s move will definitely boost MLS media rights contract. The US elite football league have already signed a mega media contract with Apple to broadcast MLS games. The deal could worth about £3bn in the next decade.

Messi’s move will further boost the profile of the MLS among football leagues in the world. PSG have already lost over 3million followers after Lionel Messi’s exit.

The hordes of followers and the sleuthing eyes of the media are expected to troupe into the MLS with Messi’s influence.

Furthermore, Messi’s MLS move will be a win-win situation. The Argentine will equally benefit from the deal. As a top player, he will be liable to purchase a percentage of any MLS club after his tenure.

Also, reports from multiple sources reveal his deal with Inter Miami involves contracts with brands such as Apple and Adidas which could still run after his career with the club.

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