Lionel Messi waves after receiving the Golden Ball award for best player of the tournament at the end of the World Cup final match at the Lusail Stadium, Qatar. File / AP
The Argentine forward, 35, has spent the last two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain, playing his final game for the club on Saturday, after moving from Barcelona in 2021, where he spent the majority of his career.
Messi said that he did not want to have to wait for Barcelona to find a formula to be able to sign him given their financial situation — they were unable to keep him before his move to PSG, leading to a tearful departure.
"I was afraid that it would happen again," Messi told Spanish newspapers Diario Sport and Mundo Deportivo.
"I've taken the decision that I am going to Miami, I don't have (the deal) 100 per cent sealed or maybe there's something left to do, but we decided to continue our path there.
"(I decided) to leave Europe, it's true that I had offers from another European team but I didn't even think about it because in Europe, my idea was only to go to Barcelona.
Lionel Messi kicks a goal during the first half of an international friendly match against Honduras in Miami Gardens. File / AP
"After winning the World Cup and not being able to go to Barca, it's time to go to MLS to live football in a different way and enjoy my day to day life more. "Obviously with the same responsibility and desire to win, and to do things well, but with more calm."
Messi is a seven-time Ballon d'Or winner and is expected to earn the individual accolade once more after leading Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar in December 2022.
The football world was eagerly awaiting Messi's decision after PSG confirmed this week the playmaker, widely considered the best player in the history of football, was departing.
Inter Miami, co-owned by former England international David Beckham and founded in 2018, sacked coach Phil Neville last week with the team bottom of the Eastern Conference — with Argentine Javier Morales taking over on an interim basis.
The romance of a Barcelona return and prospect of eye-watering riches in Saudi Arabia fell by the wayside as Messi opted to join MLS, with sun-soaked Miami a city he has holidayed in on previous occasions.
Some reports say key MLS sponsors including sportswear brand Adidas and Apple TV, who own the league's domestic broadcasting rights, may be contributing to his deal.
Messi's opener was cancelled out by a Kevin Gameiro equaliser, but the result gave PSG an unassailable four-point lead over second-placed Lens with one match of the season remaining.
"Leo Messi returns to training on Monday morning," tweeted the club along with a photo of the 35-year-old in action. His return makes it likely he will feature in PSG's home match with relegation-threatened Ajaccio next Saturday.
With PSG out of the Champions League and only four Ligue 1 matches remaining as they target a record 11th title, this is likely to be Messi's penultimate appearance at the Parc des Princes.
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