Messi CONFIRMS he wanted Barcelona return before Inter Miami move

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 5 Dec 2023 17:27 GMT
  • 3 min read
Lionel Messi, Inter Miami, 2023/24
© ProShots

Lionel Messi has confirmed that he wanted to rejoin Barcelona following his Paris Saint-Germain exit this summer.

The Argentina legend became a free agent when his contract at the Parc des Princes expired in June, and a return to Barcelona was mooted as a possibility before he opted to sign for Inter Miami instead.

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Messi, 36, helped Miami win Leagues Cup just weeks after joining the club as he scored 10 goals in just seven games to guide the club to their first ever major trophy.

However, he has now admitted that his first-choice was to re-sign for Barcelona, not join Inter Miami, but a move was not possible.

What has Messi said?

The Inter Miami star has been named as TIME’s Athlete of the Year for 2023 and during an interview with the publication, Messi said: “The truth is that fortunately, I had several options on the table that were interesting, and I had to analyse them and think, even weigh them up with my family, before making the final decision to come to Miami.

“My first option was to return to Barcelona, but it was not possible,” Messi admitted. “I tried to return, and it did not happen.

“It is also true that later I was thinking a lot about going to the Saudi league, where I know the country and they have created a very powerful competition that can become an important league in the near future.

“As the country’s tourism ambassador, it was a destination that attracted me, especially because I’ve enjoyed everything I have visited, because of how football is growing in the country and because of the effort they are putting into creating a top competition.

“It was Saudi Arabia or MLS, and both options seemed very interesting to me.”

In the end, Messi opted to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami and his former Barcelona team-mates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba soon joined him in Florida.

Luis Suarez, who is currently at Gremio, is also expected to become the latest ex-Blaugrana star to join Inter Miami in 2024.

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