Argentine superstar Lionel Messi will join American side Inter Miami following his exit from French Champions Paris Saint Germain.

This move comes as a surprise, as the former Barcelona player had rejected a fairytale return to his beloved Catalan Capital, as well as a lucrative opportunity with Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal.

Many had speculated that Messi would opt for a move to Saudi Arabia, where he could reignite his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in the league. Financially, it would have been a deal that could not be matched elsewhere. 

However, Messi ultimately succumbed to the allure of Major League Soccer (MLS) and decided to join Inter Miami. The decision was influenced by factors such as lifestyle opportunities and endorsement deals with prominent brands that extend beyond the realm of football. Notably, Messi already owns a house in Miami, which he currently rents out.

In addition to personal incentives, the MLS presented Messi with an enticing offer. He has been granted a revenue sharing agreement with Adidas and Apple TV+, which broadcasts MLS games in the United States. According to credible sources, there are even discussions about Messi being offered the chance to own an MLS team after his retirement.

However, Messi’s move to Inter Miami comes with its own challenges. The team currently finds itself in a state of uncertainty, sitting at the bottom of the MLS’s Eastern Conference without a manager. Last week, they parted ways with Phil Neville, leaving Messi’s new home in a precarious position. Inter Miami also faces the obstacle of not having a permanent stadium, continuing to host games at a temporary 18,000-capacity venue in Fort Lauderdale. 

Messi’s departure from Paris Saint Germain comes after winning Ligue 1 twice during his time there. With his achievements on both the domestic and international stage, he is widely expected to claim his eighth Ballon d’Or this year, especially after leading Argentina to World Cup glory.