Lionel Messi has revealed that his first choice after leaving PSG was to return to his former club, Barcelona.
In the early part of 2023, there was much speculation surrounding Lionel Messi’s future, including him joining Barcelona. The 36-year-old, having recently led Argentina to World Cup glory, was anticipated to depart Paris Saint-Germain at the end of his contract, leaving several potential next steps on the table.
Ultimately, Messi chose to join MLS side Inter Miami, making a significant impact since his arrival in July. However, in an interview with TIME (via MD) after being named Athlete of the Year by the magazine, he revealed that heading to the United States wasn’t his initial preference.
“The truth is that I had several options on the table that were interesting. I had to analyse them and think about them, even weigh them with my family, before making the final decision to come to Miami.
“My first option was to go back to Barcelona, but it wasn’t possible. I tried to go back and it didn’t happen. It’s also true that afterwards I was thinking a lot about going to the Saudi league. I know the country and they have created a very powerful competition that can become an important league in the near future. In the end, it was either Saudi Arabia or MLS, and I found both options very interesting.”
Barcelona made a significant effort to bring Lionel Messi back. But their persistent financial difficulties played a role in his decision not to return. This led to his move to Inter Miami, a decision that disappointed the Catalan club at the time. However, it seems that all parties involved have moved on from the situation.