Lionel Messi had a unique 2021-22 season. The Argentine great moved away from his home of almost two decades and started afresh with PSG. The Parisians won the Ligue 1 title at a canter, but Messi had been under the scanner. His poor goal scoring form had been somewhat supplanted by the 13 assists. However, there has been furious speculation surrounding Messi’s long and short-term future. He has begun the new season on fire and has also wreaked havoc at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
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🚨 Inter Miami increasingly confident of signing Lionel Messi. Not fully agreed but #InterMiamiCF now expect 35yo to join & hope it gets done in coming months. Talks resume after #WorldCup2022. #PSG still want renewal + #FCBarcelona will try @TheAthleticFC https://t.co/dQgNPaYg2e
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) October 31, 2022
The disastrous collapse in the Champions League did not help matters. For the first time in many years, there has been the feeling that Messi is being carried by his teammates. Nevertheless, his future remains uncertain.
Messi himself has said that he will reevaluate his future after the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Therefore, one can assume that he will leave PSG in 2023. But where next? Messi’s father commented recently that he hopes Messi comes back to Barcelona one day. However, one more possible destination has been cited.
Lionel Messi will reportedly join Inter Miami in 2023 and acquire a 35% stake in the MLS club, per @Alex_candal.
Messi's camp says, "Leo has not yet decided his future."
But if it is true, that would be ~$225 million based on the club's current valuation…and massive for MLS. pic.twitter.com/z7Hoh8olAU
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) May 17, 2022
Inter Miami, owned by David Beckham, are said to be close to bringing Messi to the MLS. Moreover, Messi is also set to receive 35% of the ownership stake in Inter Miami. No matter if it comes to fruition or not, Messi to MLS is an intriguing concept.
Though Messi’s camp has vehemently denied rumours that there has been any destination fixed, it is still an idea worth pouring over.
Messi to Inter Miami?
Major League Soccer has been growing as an ever-popular destination for the European elite. David Beckham and Thierry Henry were two of the foremost names in the earliest days. Since, then the league has been graced by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Vela, amongst many more. In fact, Giorgio Chiellini is on the verge of joining MLS while Lorenzo Insigne has already signed with Toronto FC.
Los Angeles FC have confirmed to Giorgio Chiellini their official proposal to sign him on a free transfer – they're now waiting for final green light on Chiellini side. 🇺🇸 #MLS
Italian centre back is available on a free transfer and he also received another proposal days ago.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 18, 2022
Therefore, Messi moving to Inter Miami will not come as a huge shock. If that were to be the case, Beckham’s Inter Miami have the best chance of snagging Messi. Beckham is one of the most savvy footballer-turned-businessman who commands an international profile.
His image and reputation precedes him and given Beckham has already played for PSG, there is some leverage there. Messi and Inter Miami will raise the profile of everyone associated with the whole process.
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David Beckham with Sergio Ramos, Leo Messi, Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappe in Doha 🔥 pic.twitter.com/fCsoTbQNyf
— VBET News (@VBETnews) May 17, 2022
The crowds will swell up, MLS will become an even more attractive option, the club’s valuation will balloon upwards. Messi will be around 36-years-old by the time he joins Inter Milan, but given his prowess over the years, he should be performing just fine.
Moreover, he will also be earning a substantial amount of money, being the league’s highest-profile player.
Messi in Europe
There’s no doubt that Lionel Messi still has a lot to offer on the European stage. Even if he leaves PSG in 2023, Messi will not be short of options. Manchester City, once very interested in signing him, could have a go.
However, the most likely option will be Messi returning to Barcelona. There has been talks of Messi joining the Blaugrana in an executive capacity some time in the future.
🇪🇸 “Is Lionel Messi coming back to Barcelona?”
🤞 “Hopefully, one day.”
— SPORF (@Sporf) May 17, 2022
Before that, he may have one more chapter left in him on the pitch. Barcelona are not averse to signing veterans as they have shown in the recent past. Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets are still going strong. They signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Dani Alves in 2022. Now, they are being linked with a sensational move for 34-year-old Robert Lewandowski.
Despite Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea interest since last summer, Robert Lewandowski’s priority is only Barcelona as things stand. 🔴🇵🇱 #FCB
His agent Zahavi is giving priority to Barça too, three year deal already on the table – but still waiting for the clubs to discuss. pic.twitter.com/bndHYtZcAD
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 17, 2022
So, a front three of Messi, Lewandowski, and Ansu Fati would be tantalizing to watch. Joan Laporta had his rocky moments with Messi during the latter’s departure in 2021. However, he would be more than welcoming of the greatest ever player in the club’s history wanting to return.
Inter Miami and Messi could yet materialize but wearing the colours of Barcelona will send the Culers into a frenzy.
Lionel Messi to Inter Miami is an enticing thought. Lionel Messi to Barcelona is a big wish. David Beckham being present adds an interesting wrinkle. There has been talk of Beckham forming a “super team” with Inter Miami and Messi could be the first addition.