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Why did Messi opt for US instead of Saudi Arabia, where Ronaldo is?


Lionel Messi’s choice to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami club revealed. — Reuters/File

Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano revealed why Lionel Messi agreed to join hands with Inter Miami FC and Major League Soccer (MLS) last year instead of moving to the Saudi Pro League where Cristiano Ronaldo went last year.

The football world was surprised to witness Lionel Messi’s choice to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami club in the US, closing the biggest MLS deal in history.

Several big names in football Karim Benzema to Neymar left French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and signed contracts with Saudi club.

It was expected at that time that the reigning Ballon d’Or holder Messi would also join the players in Saudi Arabia.

The journalist, while speaking with the ARLS podcast, revealed: “Messi planned Inter Miami move long before Saudi Arabia interest.”

Romano said: “I think it was not financial, I think it was for family reasons and also because it was close to David Beckham, and he had the chance to build a squad with some players who are his friends, like Busquets and Alba.”

Romano went on: “He had the opportunity to create what he wanted there that maybe would have been different in Saudi. There are different reasons, but he prepared his move to Inter Miami a long time ago. I would not say the move was close, it was a possibility, but it was never that close from what I heard.”

Messi’s choice appears to be right as the US league witnessed a surge in popularity beyond what the Saudi Pro League has achieved, according to Inter Miami News.

Cristiano Ronaldo also went to Saudi Pro club Al Nassr in early 2023 where he had been making a name for himself and the league.



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