International soccer star Lionel Messi sent shockwaves through the sport Wednesday when he agreed to a deal with MLS team Inter Miami. Specific details of his contract have not been finalized, but the deal has already transformed the landscape of soccer in the United States.

“I have made the decision that I am going to Miami. I still don’t have it agreed upon 100 percent and a few things are needed, but, well, we decided to continue my path there,” Messi said.

Potential terms in Messi’s contract are lucrative and could include a part-ownership of Inter Miami and a share of Apple TV revenue from new streaming subscribers. Spanish publication Diario AS reports that he could earn up to $54 million per season in salary alone.

Messi claimed that he decided to come to play in the United States after failing to make deals with Paris Saint Germain and FC Barcelona.

“After winning the World Cup and not being able to return to Barcelona, it was my turn to go to the league of the United States to live football in another way and to enjoy the day-to-day more. Obviously, with the same responsibility and desire to play well and do things well as always. But in a calmer way.”

Despite Messi’s claim that he could not return to FC Barcelona, the team later said in a statement that he had been offered a deal that was still on the table when he decided to enter negotiations with Inter Miami.

“Jorge Messi, the player’s father and representative, informed Club President Joan Laporta of the player’s decision to join Inter Miami, despite having been presented with a proposal from Barça, in consideration of the desire of both FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi for him to once again wear blaugrana,” Barca said in a statement.

Before Messi decided to join Inter Miami, tickets to the game could be found for less than $30. The cheapest tickets available now are nearly $500. The Messi effect is immediate stateside.

Read more about:

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Listen to the uInterview Podcast!
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!