Just a day after PSG suspended Lionel Messi for two weeks without pay for traveling to Saudi Arabia without permission, it was announced that the Argentine superstar will leave the club this summer after two seasons. Negotiations on a new deal came to a halt when the Ligue 1 giants asked Messi to take a pay cut and by no surprise, he was unwilling to do so. You can’t blame him.
With Messi set to be a free agent in the coming months, there is no question a plethora of teams across the globe will be hoping to sign the legend, who just led La Albiceleste to a World Cup title back in December and essentially solidified his GOAT status.
With that being said, here are the 4 best destinations for Lionel Messi.
Saudi Pro League
Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo took his talents to Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Nassr, the rumors have been swirling that Messi could end up at the rival club, Al-Hilal. Well, it’s definitely a possibility. A report came out Wednesday from the Telegraph stating that the government in Saudi is preparing to offer Messi a deal worth more than $400 million per season, making him the highest-paid athlete in any sport ever, never mind football.
While it would be difficult for the 35-year-old to turn down such a massive amount of money, he is still playing at an extremely high level. Not saying the quality in the Pro League is poor, but it’s not Europe. On the other hand, Messi has nothing left to prove. He’s won everything for both club and country. Plus, he’s already a tourism ambassador for the Kingdom, hence why he traveled there recently before the suspension. They pay him more than $30 million per year for that role. Putting arguably the two greatest players ever in the same league would surely do a lot for the popularity of football in Saudi Arabia and may even entice more talent to play there. Also, Messi could have a cakewalk and just bag goals like nobody’s business.
Yes, Manchester City is absolutely stacked but he was briefly linked to them after leaving Barcelona and his ex-boss Pep Guardiola is of course in charge at the Etihad. Could you just imagine Messi alongside Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne? The Cityzens are already a dominant side, especially after adding Haaland. but if they brought in Lionel Messi as well, this attack would be an absolute nightmare for opponents. Joining City also gives him the opportunity to compete for every title imaginable while playing in one of the best leagues around before his career is over.
How can you not mention Messi and Barcelona in the same breath? Ever since Messi left Camp Nou in the summer of 2021, there’s been non-stop speculation about his return to Catalonia. President Joan Laporta has voiced he’ll do everything imaginable to make a Messi reunion happen and they’ve seemingly figured out their financial issues since he left two years ago. The Argentine is a free agent as well and you’d have to imagine he’d probably take less money to play for Barca again, the place where his legacy was built. Xavi has this side firing on all cylinders in La Liga and they already have one hand on the title. Blaugrana will be back in the Champions League next season and Messi gets to play with Robert Lewandowski up top.
The reality is Messi made Barcelona the European powerhouse they are today, although their dominance in the UCL has been nonexistent in recent years. The supporters still absolutely adore him and every single one of them would welcome Messi back with open arms. This feels like the most logical choice of the lot.
Lionel Messi and the MLS. There’s been so much buzz around this topic over the last year, with Inter Miami believed to be the club that may be able to sign him. Messi has a condo in South Beach and spends time there in the offseason. Every single person that doesn’t live in the United States dreams of living in a place like Miami, full of beautiful weather and vibrant nightlife. We also have to remember David Beckham is the owner and Phil Neville is the manager. There’s a sense of familiarity for Messi in terms of European connections.
MLS commissioner Don Garver has already said the league would do whatever it takes to convince Messi to play in the States. He’d get paid more than any other player ever and every single home, and away game for that matter, would be sold out. We’re talking about a global icon in football. Messi gets to live the high life in Miami and help grow the game in the US. Not bad, right?
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