The Argentinian World Cup-winner leaves Paris Saint-Germain after two years in Ligue 1 and now heads to MLS, his first senior club outside of Europe having spent his entire career at Barcelona prior to joining PSG.
Speaking in an exclusive interview to Sport and Mundo Deportivo, Messi confirmed: “I’m going to join Inter Miami. The decision is 100% confirmed.
“If it had been a matter of money, I’d have gone to Saudi Arabia or elsewhere. It seemed like a lot of money to me. The truth is that my final decision goes elsewhere and not because of money”.
With the deal yet to officially go through, exact details surrounding the length of contract and how much he will earn are still to be confirmed.
Messi also said in the interview that he would have loved to return to Barcelona, the club closest to his heart where he was forced to leave two years ago due to their financial situation, but that he had been burnt by his previous departure from Camp Nou.
He explained: “I really wanted, I was very excited to be able to return, but, on the other hand, after having experienced what I experienced and the exit I had, I did not want to be in the same situation again: wait to see what was going to happen and leave my future in someone else’s hands, so to speak.
“I wanted to make my own decision, thinking about myself, about my family. Although I heard that it was said that LaLiga had accepted everything and that everything was fine for me to return, there were still many other things that had to happen.
“I heard that they had to sell players or lower player salaries and the truth is that I didn’t want to go through that. I have already been accused of many things that were not true in my career at Barcelona and I was already a bit tired, I didn’t want to go through all that.”
Inter Miami is owned by David Beckham and Jorge Mas, an American businessman, and are currently competing in just their fourth-ever season as an MLS club.
Messi has won 174 caps with the Argentina national team, scoring 102 goals along the way – both national team records by an enormous distance. After going close to success with the Albiceleste on more than one occasion, he finally tasted glory with his nation when they won the 2021 Copa America, before following that up last year and triumphing at the 2022 World Cup.