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#pounditThursday, May 23, 2024

Lionel Messi agrees to massive deal to join MLS team

Lionel Messi in his Argentina uniform

Sep 27, 2022; Harrison, New Jersey, USA; Argentina forward Lionel Messi (10) during the second half against Jamaica at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Lionel Messi will be playing in the United States next season in a rather stunning turn of events.

Messi has agreed to join MLS club Inter Miami, he confirmed Wednesday in a pair of interviews. The global soccer star had been courted heavily by Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Pro League, but Messi ultimately turned them down to move to Miami. He had also been linked with a return to his former Spanish club, Barcelona.

While the terms of Messi’s agreement are unknown, it is clear that plenty of special arrangements have been made to entice the star to move to MLS. According to Paul Tenorio, Felipe Cardenas and Pablo Maurer of The Athletic, Messi may receive a share of the revenue from Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass streaming service. Adidas, which is partnered with MLS and has a lifetime endorsement deal with Messi, may also give the forward a portion of the profits that come from his MLS move.

Inter Miami are one of MLS’ newest teams, having begun play in 2020. Co-owned by David Beckham, they sit in last place in the Eastern Conference.

Messi spent his last two seasons playing for PSG in France, where he won two league titles but failed to help the club win the prestigious UEFA Champions League despite high expectations. That played a role in what turned out to be a rather sour exit from the club.

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