Messi, who joined Inter Miami instead of Barcelona this summer, is likely to head back to the Catalan capital to bid farewell to his most passionate fans, owner Jorge Mas has confirmed.
The Argentine looked as if he would only choose between the two in the end, but Mas has told Club del Deportista (via MD) that there was plenty of competition for his signature.
“Being the best player in the world there was a lot of competition. Not only with the renewal that PSG wanted, the possible return to Barcelona, and the offers from Saudi Arabia. Frankly, they were very intense months, I had multiple meetings between Rosario, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Miami, Doha…”
“Did I see the operation in danger? Definitely. There was a lot of pressure. Messi’s departure from Barcelona was not his liking, he could not say goodbye to his club, which welcomed him as a child, and I think the circumstances were not what Lionel wanted.”
Inter Miami had the advantage that their offer had been worked on over the past four years.
“Your son will have the opportunity to create a new legacy because he will be able to change a sport in a country, and that is rarely given to an athlete. I maintained communication with Jorge [Messi] constantly. It took four and a half years to convince Lionel and make him decide with his family. I never lost faith. I was convinced that Lionel Messi was going to arrive, I saw that there was a great possibility after the World Cup, and in January or February to close something.”
However, Mas has committed to Messi returning home to Barcelona sometime in the coming two years.
“I gave him my commitment that I will do everything possible in the coming years so that he has the opportunity to say goodbye to his fans in Barcelona,” and added that “Inter Miami will go or we will have some kind of match.”
One of the great tragedies is that Messi not only left Barcelona playing in an empty Camp Nou but was also not aware that it was his last game, with Barcelona President Joan Laporta promising that he would remain at the Blaugrana.