The football pantheon has shifted with the announcement that Lionel Messi, one of the best players to ever take the pitch, was leaving Paris St. Germaine to play with the United States-based Major League Soccer club Inter Miami. 

After a phenomenal career at Barcelona which brought him four UEFA Champions League titles, seven Copa del Reys,10 La Liga titles, and three Club World Cups, his time at PSG was relatively quiet, and few were completely surprised when he announced his intention to move on. 

While Barcelona was interested given their shared history of success, the world was shocked to learn he was leaving European play for its American counterpart.

The Top Player in the World

For many soccer players, La Liga and the Champions League represent the competitive dream, hosting the best players in the world, and Lionel Messi was widely regarded as one of the top strikers playing at that elite level. 

After relocating from his native Argentina as a teenager and joining Barcelona as a pro at only 17 years of age, he quickly made his mark on not just the scorecards but also the history of the sport. Few players have put up stats anywhere close to his on the pitch, and the fans show their love by packing stadiums for both home and away games wearing Messi jerseys, chanting his name, and hoping for an in-person glimpse of his talent and athleticism.

The Journey to the Top

Make no mistake, Lionel Messi’s success on and off the pitch is no accident. He has applied himself to his sport with singular determination. When he was honored with the design of the Messi Adidas x Speedflow Cleats, they emblazoned the shoe with his attitude toward football and life – respect, familia, and nosotros – meaning the togetherness needed for a team, for business, and for life. 

It was an attitude that had taken him to the top of the sport with only one accolade left–to bring a FIFA World Cup home to his native Argentina. After years of falling short in his quest to honor his homeland, 2022 saw him lead the Argentina National Team to victory. 

The man who’s given so much to the sport has decided it’s time to refocus some of his time on the needs of his family.  

Far From a Retirement

Don’t count on Lionel Messi taking it easy. MLS is an elite soccer league that is hungry to share the spotlight and earn the same prestige European leagues enjoy, and Lionel Messi figures heavily into their plans. 

After signing a multi-billion dollar, 10-year broadcast rights deal with Apple TV, MLS needs subscription sales to maximize their contract. While Messi’s Inter Miami contract undoubtedly ties a portion of his compensation to these subscription numbers, this deal wasn’t all about the money. Messi already has investments in Miami, has spent plenty of time there for business and pleasure, and his family enjoys the welcoming environment of South Florida. 

This move frees him up to enjoy more family time, earn a big paycheck, and help promote the sport he loves to one of the richest emerging markets in the world. 

Showing Your Support For Messi and Inter Miami

With a stunning game-winning free kick goal in stoppage time in his debut against Cruz Azul on July 21, Messi seems poised to bring fireworks to Miami this season. 

To show your support for the fútbol legend, sport his Argentinian National Team jersey or one of his new Inter Miami jerseys. The Messi Adidas x Speedportal cleats are a great way to finish out the look, and during halftime, kids Messi Adidas x Speedportal cleats have the whole family ready to kick a ball around while you wait for the action to resume. 

Get the gear you need to keep up with the latest moves on and off the pitch. Order your authentic jerseys, shoes, and accessories from SoccerPro today.