After a long career playing for many of the best European football clubs in the world, Lionel Messi has officially signed with Inter Miami FC. That means that Messi, who many consider to be one of the greatest soccer players in the history of the sport, will play what might be the last years of his career in the U.S.
Following the news that Messi had come to the U.S., many wanted to better understand why he ultimately chose to come to Miami, and what the factors were that influenced that decision.
Why did Lionel Messi go to Miami?
In announcing his decision to come to Miami, Messi said that he signed the deal in large part because he wanted to better balance his work on the field with everything else in his life.
“I want to get back to enjoy myself, to enjoy my family, my children, the day-to-day,” he said at the time. Messi had played most of his career for Barcelona before leaving for Paris, and when a return to Barcelona didn't come through, he knew he wanted to step away from the bright lights of Europe.
“If the Barcelona thing didn’t work out, I wanted to leave Europe, leave the spotlight, and focus more on my family,” he explained.
Messi, who already owns real estate in Florida and likes to vacation there, said that he wanted to spend more time with his family. A recent viral video of Messi shopping at a Publix seems to confirm Messi's theory that he's going to get the chance to be much more anonymous here than he could have been in Europe.
How much is Messi's new contract worth?
Inter Miami FC announced that they had signed Messi for a deal that will pay him between $50 million and $60 million a year. He has been signed for a total of 2.5 seasons, which puts the total cash value of his contract somewhere between $125 million and $150 million.
In addition to his salary as a player, Messi has also signed some other lucrative deals that could make the opportunity even more rewarding.
Those include partial rights to profit sharing with two of the soccer's biggest partners in the U.S.: Apple TV and Adidas. Also, Messi might have the right to purchase a minority stake in the club, which is partially owned by English football star David Beckham.
Even with those incentives, though, this deal is still worth far less than the reported $1.6 billion Saudi Arabia had offered Messi for three years.
Where is Messi's home in Miami?
Messi has had a Miami apartment since 2019, and currently lives in the Porsche Design Tower, a 60-story luxury building in which he owns a $9 million apartment. The tower is located just seconds away from the beach and offers stunning views of the entire city.
Ultimately, the digs are relatively modest, and speak to the fact that Messi chose to play in Miami not just for the money, but also for the time it would leave for his family.