In his media interview following the announcement of his move to Inter Miami, Lionel Messi opened up about his thought process over the past few months. Why did Messi not wait for Barcelona? In an exclusive interview scheduled for tomorrow, Messi will publicly address his decision to join Inter Miami. So why did he not continue to wait for Barcelona? Messi explained, "I really wanted to return to Barcelona, but on the other hand, after what I've experienced, I don't want to face the same situation again—waiting for what will happen, placing my future in the hands of others."
My analysis of Messi's reasons are as follows:
Firstly, there are a lot of uncertainties about returning to Barcelona. Although La Liga has agreed to Barcelona's financial plan, there is still a lot of uncertainty. Specifically, Barcelona needs to sell players or lower salaries. Messi does not want to go through this, nor does he want to be responsible for all the related issues. In other words, Messi does not want his return to force some Barcelona players to leave.
Secondly, Messi does not want his future to depend on others. Messi fears that the same thing that happened in 2021 might happen again. In 2021, after Messi left, he had to make a hurried decision to move to Paris, living in a hotel with his family for a long time. Messi hopes to make his own decisions. Although he longs to return to Barcelona, he does not want to be hurt again.
Thirdly, Messi wants to give more consideration to his family and children. Messi believes that during his two years in Paris, he did not perform well on a family level and did not enjoy it. Now that he has won the World Cup and achieved a grand slam in football, he hopes to spend more time with his family and children, enjoying a happy life. As I've said in previous articles, football is important to Messi, but it's not everything. Barcelona is important to Messi, but it's not everything either. Now that he's missed the chance to return to Barcelona, all we can do is regret that Barcelona is powerless to change the situation. The only thing Barcelona can do for Messi now might be to hold a farewell ceremony to alleviate some of their guilt towards him.
Based on my analysis, Messi's decision to choose Inter Miami hinges on several key considerations.
Firstly, he no longer clings to the mainstream European leagues. Messi said in the interview that he only considered returning to Barcelona among European teams. But since he couldn't return to Barcelona, he chose to leave Europe. He did not even evaluate offers from English Premier League teams like Newcastle United, which shows that his mind was made up. He wants to leave Europe, stay away from the spotlight, and live happily with his family every day, enjoying the beauty of football.
After winning the World Cup, Messi said in an interview that he has won all the honors in the football world. Now, he is more focused on enjoying football and going beyond it. One of his choices for leaving Europe was Saudi Arabia, but his family is not accustomed to living in the desert country and prefers the highly internationalized United States. For a long time, the Messi family has enjoyed vacationing on the beaches of Miami.
Secondly, the United States offers advantages that Saudi Arabia cannot match. Although the US offer was not as high as that of Saudi Arabia, Inter Miami still offered Messi an annual salary of 50 million euros plus bonuses and a stake in the team. Messi also received promises of a share in the season sales of Apple and Adidas, two major sponsors of Major League Soccer, both of whom Messi has worked with before. Moreover, Messi stated that money has never been a primary factor in his decisions.
Thirdly, after signing Messi, Inter Miami is planning further recruitment, including stars like Di Maria, Busquets, Suarez, Paredes, etc., to help Messi more comfortably handle MLS matches. It has been revealed that after moving to Miami, Messi will continue to wear the No. 10 jersey.
Fourthly, the United States will host the Copa America in 2024 and co-host the World Cup with Canada and Mexico in 2026. Messi can get used to the tournament grounds in advance. If Messi participates in the upcoming Copa America and World Cup as Scaloni hopes, it will be his sixth World Cup, breaking the record for the most World Cup appearances.
In summary, Messi's choice to play joyful football is based on these considerations. The arrival of the football king in MLS will surely create a soccer storm just like Beckham and Messi himself did before. Recently, Inter Miami's director Alfonso Mondelo said in an interview that Messi's arrival has started an unprecedented period of prosperity in the history of MLS. All match tickets in any state where you could watch Messi play have been sold out. After Messi announced his joining, Inter Miami's social media followers soared from 1 million to 7 million in just a few days.
It's foreseeable that the Messieffect will continue to extend across the MLS, bringing more attention and development to the league. As Messi said, he wants to enjoy football and life with his family. Miami, with its beautiful beaches and vibrant lifestyle, seems to be the perfect place for this new chapter in Messi's life. We, as fans, should respect his decision and continue to support him no matter where he plays. After all, it's the love of the game that matters most.