TIME Athlete of the Year Lionel Messi reveals he almost emulated Cristiano Ronaldo's move to the Saudi Pro League.
Inter Miami star Lionel Messi has revealed that he was close to following Cristiano Rinaldo’s footsteps in moving to the Saudi Professional League when it was clear his time at Paris Saint-Germain was over.
The 36-year-old was something of a hot commodity last summer, with Barcelona, Inter Miami and Al-Hilal all making concrete moves for him. The Argentinian opted for the move to the USA but now reveals he contemplated accepting the offer from the Gulf.
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What Messi said
, and in an interview with the renowned publication, he explained that a return to Barcelona was his first choice after leaving PSG before understanding a deal could not be offered at the time, given the club’s financial situation.
He explained that he also thought about the mega-money offer the Saudis were offering but, in the end, opted for Inter Miami’s deal.
"They have created a very powerful competition that can become an important league in the near future. As the country’s tourism ambassador, it was a destination that attracted me."
"My first option was to return to Barcelona, but it was not possible. I tried to return, and it did not happen."
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