Lionel Messi Chose Inter Miami Over Billion-Dollar Saudi Guarantee Because Of His Wife

The Middle East has been very kind to Lionel Messi. After multiple attempts, the Argentine attacker won his first World Cup in Qatar.

Saudi Arabia was keen on making him the highest-paid sportsperson in the world with a $1.2 billion offer, but he’s turned that down in favor of a move to Inter Miami.

Lionel Messi and his wife Antonela Roccuzzo
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year nominee Argentinian football player Lionel Messi (R) and his wife Antonela Roccuzzo pose on the red carpet prior to the 2023 Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony in Paris on May 8, 2023. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP) (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images)

The MLS club, owned by soccer legend David Beckham, has won the race to sign the player many refer to as soccer’s GOAT, trumping multiple offers from European clubs, as well as a mega proposal from Saudi outfit Al-Hilal.

Messi left French side Paris Saint-Germain this year and it was expected that he could return to Barcelona as he wanted to sign another deal with the Spanish giants. However, they were not able to make it happen so Al-Hilal leaped out in front. Reports claim they offered the Argentine $1.2 billion for two years but he’s instead decided to head to the United States in a move that will shake up the American soccer scene.

The MLS has been able to attract several notable international stars over the years, with Beckham among them, but it’s never landed a player of Messi’s ilk.

According to French publication L’Equipe, the 2022 World Cup winner rejected the Saudi move because of his wife Antonela Roccuzzo as they were said to be skeptical over the prospect of raising their children in the gulf.

“Barring a huge turnaround, Messi should in any case not follow up on Saudi Arabia’s XXL proposal, the couple not seeing themselves settling with their three boys in the Gulf desert,” L’Equipe reports. “The person concerned should make his decision known by a press release on his social networks as soon as it is final.”


Messi has confirmed his move to Inter Miami in an interview with Mundo Deportivo.

“I made the decision that I am going to go to Miami,” he said. “I still haven’t closed it 100 percent. I’m missing some things but we decided to continue the path.”

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