Lionel Messi wanted to return to Barcelona before joining Inter Miami as he’s named TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year

Lionel Messi’s love for Barcelona is unmatched. After all, this was the club that gave him a chance to play soccer at the highest level when no one else would touch him. The Catalan giants saw something no one else saw, and they wanted him so badly that his first contract at the club was signed on a napkin.

Fast forward to 2023, and Messi no longer plays for Barcelona. As a matter of fact, he stopped playing for the club in 2021 when his contract expired, and he joined PSG after an emotional announcement. However, in a recent interview, Lionel Messi revealed he wanted to rejoin Barcelona when he left PSG in June, but an agreement couldn’t be reached.

Lionel Messi wanted to return to Barcelona before joining Inter Miami

Lionel Messi was mooted mainly for a return to Barcelona once his PSG contract expired at the end of last season, and talks were indeed held. However, in a shocking turn of events, the World Cup winner announced that he would be joining David Beckham’s MLS franchise Inter Miami in the United States, sending a shockwave throughout the United States.

Cry Baby 1
Source: Barca Blaugranes

In a recent interview with TIME, Messi revealed Barcelona was his first choice, but the move didn’t happen. “The truth is that, fortunately, I had several options on the table that were interesting, and I had to analyze them and even weigh them up with my family before making the final decision to come to Miami.

“My first option was to return to Barcelona, but it was not possible. I tried to return, and it did not happen,” the Inter Miami star told TIME.

According to Barca Blaugranes, Barcelona were trying to force some players out to accommodate Lionel Messi, something the Argentine wasn’t comfortable with. This was also the incident that kept him from signing a new contract in 2021 when he left the club.

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Source: Barca Blaugranes

Lionel Messi named TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year

Lionel Messi’s 2023 continues to be interesting, as the Inter Miami star was recently named TIME’s Athlete of the Year for 2023, becoming the first soccer player to receive this coveted award.

Times Messi
Source: Marca

This came on the back of being named the 2023 Ballon d’Or winner, which he duly celebrated with his Inter Miami teammates, making it a record eighth time for the World Cup winner. Lionel Messi has been highly influential in the American sports community, helping to create a strong awareness for soccer in the United States following his move to Inter Miami last June.

Messi also led Inter Miami to their first-ever trophy when they won the Leagues Cup back in August.

Can Lionel Messi lead Inter Miami to glory next season? Drop your predictions in the comments section.


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