In a surprising revelation that has sent shockwaves through the football world, La Liga president Javier Tebas has disclosed that Lionel Messi was on the verge of a return to Barcelona before ultimately opting to join Inter Miami. Tebas, speaking in an interview reported by Kick TV via The Mirror, revealed the close proximity of Messi’s reunion with his former club, stating, “Personally, because of Messi’s and Barca’s desire, I saw it as close.”
Tebas elaborated on the potential deal, emphasizing the emotional ties between Messi and Barcelona that seemed to pave the way for a return. “When there is that affection, many economic issues are left aside. I saw it as possible. I saw it as close. I am sure that Messi would have liked to retire at Barca,” he added, underscoring the sentiment shared by both parties.
However, Messi’s decision to eschew a return to Catalonia stemmed from concerns surrounding the tumultuous circumstances of his departure from the club. Addressing rumors of his desire to retire at Barcelona back in June 2023, Messi candidly explained, “I really wanted, I was very excited to be able to return, but after having experienced what I experienced and the exit I had [last time], I did not want to be in the same situation again.”
Despite Messi’s departure from Barcelona, his stint with Inter Miami has been marked by success, with the Argentine superstar making significant contributions on the field. Inter Miami clinched the inaugural Leagues Cup, with Messi claiming the Golden Boot in the tournament. However, a spell on the sidelines due to injury late in the campaign saw the Herons narrowly miss out on the 2023 MLS Playoffs.
As Inter Miami wraps up their 2024 MLS World Tour preseason journey, all eyes remain on Messi’s former club as they navigate a season without their prodigious talent. The specter of Messi’s potential Barcelona homecoming continues to linger, leaving fans to ponder what could have been for the iconic player at his beloved former club.
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