Lionel Messi's journey – from Paris Saint-Germain to Inter Miami

Lionel Messi, the famous Argentine football player, has been making waves in the sports world for a while now.

Lionel Messi's journey – from Paris Saint-Germain to Inter Miami
A mural with the image of Lionel Messi is seen on a residential building in the art district of Wynwood in Miami, Florida, U.S. July 11, 2023. REUTERS/Maria Alejandra Cardona

he backstory: Lionel Messi, the famous Argentine football player, has been making waves in the sports world for a while now. He's achieved remarkable success, including four Champions League titles and 129 goals in top club competitions. Messi’s also clinched 10 La Liga titles, two Ligue 1 championships and other prestigious honors, like a Copa América victory and an Olympic gold medal for his national team.

Throughout his professional career, Messi’s been associated with FC Barcelona, where he started in the club's youth program. But in 2021, Barcelona faced “financial and structural obstacles” because of the Spanish league's regulations. So, it couldn’t renew his contract even though both Messi and Barcelona wanted him to stay on. After that, he ended up signing with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in France.

More recently: Messi has seven Ballon d'Or awards under his belt, winning his last one in 2021.  He's in the running for another one this year after leading Argentina to World Cup success in Qatar last year.

Just last month, Messi announced his decision to leave PSG at the end of the season after two years with the club. People were wondering where he might be headed next. Some thought he'd follow Cristiano Ronaldo's footsteps and sign with Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia.

The development: Messi has now officially signed with Inter Miami, a Major League Soccer (MLS) club in the US. This new deal will keep him at the club until 2025, and it’s the first league he’s played for outside of Europe. Inter Miami, co-owned by the iconic footballer David Beckham, has big plans build up the sport in the US and establish a strong legacy. Messi's arrival has fans riled up, and they’re eagerly anticipating his debut on July 21 in the Leagues Cup opener against Cruz Azul. To mark this moment, Inter Miami held a grand unveiling event over the weekend and a press conference where Messi and the club's ownership spoke to the media.

Key comments:

“I’m very excited to start this next step in my career with Inter Miami and in the United States,” said Lionel Messi in a statement distributed by the club. “This is a fantastic opportunity and together we will continue to build this beautiful project. The idea is to work together to achieve the objectives we set and I’m very eager to start helping here in my new home.”

"Today that dream has become a reality. I couldn't be prouder that a player of Leo's caliber is coming to our club, but I am also thrilled to welcome a good friend, an incredible person and his beautiful family to our Inter Miami community," said Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham.

"We are overjoyed that the greatest player in the world chose Inter Miami and MLS, and his decision is a testament to the momentum and energy behind our League and our sport in North America," said Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber. "We have no doubt that Lionel will show the world that MLS can be a League of Choice for the best players in the game."